Offered through five meetings over the academic term, the Resilience in Practice workshop series is an inviting and collaborative space for health practitioners, writers, and others to explore dimensions of resiliency through reading, writing, and discussion of texts.

Each session will include:

  1. A brief introduction to the book and the author
  2. Reading and guided discussion of book excerpts
  3. Writing exercises inspired by the texts
  4. Opportunities to share writing and give/receive feedback

Book excerpts will be used as a springboard for reflection and writing and will be provided in each session. Pre-reading is not required.

The group is facilitated by Karen Gold, a narrative medicine facilitator, social worker, and educator.

Schedule Details & Dates

Excerpts and themes from the following memoirs will be explored in each session. Pre-reading is not required.

  • March 5 / March 12
    That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour by Sunita Puri

    Drawing on family stories and her experiences as a palliative care physician, Puri explores the pivotal role of language in navigating suffering. This book is a testimony to the power of writing to make meaning and cultivate resilience in all spheres of life.

  • April 2 / April 9
    Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity by Ronald Epstein

    Part memoir, part guide to caring for ourselves and others, Epstein's book has been described as "compelling" and "wise" and will speak to healthcare professionals, patients, and anyone interested in humanistic healthcare.

  • April 30 / May 7
    We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing by Jillian Horton

    Set in a retreat for burnt-out physicians, this memoir recounts Horton's family life growing up with a severely-disabled sibling and her work as a physician and medical educator. Horton offers us hard-won insights and lessons for personal and professional well-being.

  • May 28 / June 4
    A Nurse's Story by Tilda Shalof

    Toronto-based ICU nurse and author of five memoirs, Shalof shares insights from a childhood spent caring for sick parents, and her many years as a critical care nurse. In this book, she reflects on what drew her to nursing, and what sustains her.

  • June 25 / July 9
    The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper

    Drawing on a difficult childhood and on her work as an ER physician, Harper explores how healing patients is intertwined with healing herself. This book is about recovery from trauma, the importance of bearing witness, and the many routes to resilience.

Program Format

Class Time (10 hours)

  • 2 hours x 5 meetings
  • Spring session: March - June
  • 1 x Saturday morning per month, 10am - 12pm EST, via Zoom.

Close Reading & Writing

Close Reading - Guided Discussion of excerpts from selected books; writing to prompts inspired by texts/excerpts; opportunity to share work with peers; other opportunities to share writing or reflections online


In session and online discussion, peer response; optional writing exercises between sessions.