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Narrative Medicine: From the "Parallel Chart" to the Humanities Roundtable Discussion

Top right hand corner: Danielle Spencer wears a red shirt with yellow polka dots. She sits at a chair with a bookcase full of books behind her. She  looks into the camera. Bottom two panel from the left: Deborah Jenson wears a dark green shirt with her arms crossed. She smiles into the camera. Top third panel from the left: A black and white photo of Ray Barfield. Ray has his hands in a thinking position on his face as he looks into the camera. Bottom right corner: John Vaughn wears a dark gray suit with a light purple shirt and a purple and black tie. He smiles into the camera.
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Thursday, October 17, 2019
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12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
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Danielle Spencer, Deborah Jenson, Ray Barfield, John Vaughn

Narrative Medicine is a methodology and theoretical paradigm developed by Rita Charon to allow health care providers to better elicit, process, and integrate their patients' stories into the health care trajectory, creating a structure of narrative affiliation between patient and clinician. The story loop is not limited to patients, either. "Each day," Charon writes, "you write in the hospital chart about each of your patients. You know exactly what to write there [....] If your patient dying of prostate cancer reminds you of your grandfather [...], and each time you go into the patient's room, you weep, you cannot write that in the hospital chart. [...] You write it in the Parallel Chart." Columbia Narrative Medicine faculty member Dr. Danielle Spencer joins pediatric oncologist and writer Ray Barfield, Health Humanities Lab co-director Deborah Jenson, and Director of Duke Student Health John Vaughn to discuss both the uses of Narrative Medicine in clinical settings, and its use in the humanities classroom or text, where, as Charon notes, "Mimesis is the actual action-the cardiac function, if you will-engendered by the beholding and the representing, for these two steps spiral toward actual change in the world."

Co-Sponsored by the Health Humanities Lab, the Forum for Scholars & Publics, and the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine.

Contact: Cuquis Robledo