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Mar 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Narrative Medicine

With Nellie Hermann, Catherine Rogers, Danielle Spencer, and Deepu Gowda

What is Narrative Medicine? What are the connections between storytelling and clinical practice? What do the fields of creative writing, medicine, oral history and literary studies have to teach one another?

Narrative Medicine teachers and practitioners Nellie Hermann, Catherine Rogers, and Danielle Spencer will discuss Narrative Medicine and what is happening at the nexus of these different disciplines in a panel moderated by Deepu Gowda, physician and teacher. In addition to the history of the work and its growth, the panelists will explore these interdisciplinary connections from different angles—the role of creativity in healthcare, working with different populations of learners, bringing experiences of illness and embodiment into documentary work,and how it all may speak to a broader interest in storytelling, embodiment and empowerment. The panelists will also lead the audience in an approximately half-hour long narrative medicine exercise.

pic_gowda2011Deepu Gowda, MD, MPH is a general internist and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is the Course Director of Foundations of Clinical Medicine, which teaches Columbia’s students the medical interview, physical exam, and clinical reasoning He has been involved with the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia since 1999 in an effort to use narrative method to enhance medical education and effect institutional change towards a more humanistic practice. In his role as the chair of the Fundamentals Curriculum Committee at Columbia, the committee charged with curricular oversight of the pre-clerkship curriculum, he has worked with educators to better integrate narrative methods into the curriculum. His recent efforts in this field have included spearheading Art Matters, a visual art education experience at the Frick Collection for the entire first year class, leading small group discussions in Narrative Medicine workshops with health care professionals from around the world, and co-developing and co-teaching a narrative medicine based interprofessional education course at Columbia’s health sciences campus. His particular interest within Narrative Medicine is on the use of close reading of texts and visual art to enhance one’s clinical attention and healing presence. His scholarship also includes innovations in teaching the physical exam. He was awarded best pre-clerkship educator by the Columbia medical students in 2011 and received the Ambulatory Medicine Teacher of the Year Award for 2008. In 2011, he was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to a 6-year term on the New York City Board of Health.

author photo hi resNellie Hermann, Creative Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, is a graduate of Brown University and the M.F.A. program at Columbia University. Her first novel, The Cure for Grief (Scribner: 2008), received national acclaim in such publications as Time Magazine, Elle, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and others, and was chosen as a Target “Breakout” book. Hermann’s short story “Can We Let the Baby Go?” won first prize in Glimmer Train’s 2008 “Family Matters” competition and was published in the Winter, 2010 issue; another story of hers appeared in Glimmer Train in August, 2012. Her non-fiction has appeared in an anthology about siblings, Freud’s Blindspot (Free Press: 2010), as well as in Academic Medicine. She has been an invited resident to numerous artist residencies such as The Millay Colony, The UCross Foundation, and The Saltonstall Foundation of the Arts. Over the last eight years she has taught fiction and narrative medicine to undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, and clinicians of all sorts, and has given conference addresses in Iowa, California, Seoul, Korea, and elsewhere. Her second novel is forthcoming in February, 2015 with Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

2014-Catherine55bar-Goldman-4Catherine Rogers is a playwright and performer who lives and works in New York. Her fiction was recently published in the Gettysburg Review; she is anthologized in Our Changing Journey to the End (Praeger 2013), Spontaneous Combustion (Manhattan Theatre Source 2006), and Voices Made Flesh: Performing Women’s Autobiography (U Wisconsin 2003). Her solo performance The Sudden Death of Everyone was seen at Dixon Place in New York before touring to Greece. The Austin Texas Public Domain Theatre commissioned her full-length play Einstein’s Daughter later developed at the Cleveland Public Theatre. Rogers can be seen flashing past the camera in episodes of Mercy (NBC-TV) and in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Columbia Pictures 2014). In feature roles, she appears for Greenpoint Film Factory and documentarian Joe Goldman. She has taught writing at NYU, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, University of Athens, Theatre for a New Audience, and others. She has given Narrative Medicine workshops for pre-med students, literature students, poets, Fulbright scholars and artists, and clinicians. A two-time Fulbright fellow in Greece and James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Texas, where she earned her M.F.A., she is currently an M.S. candidate in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University.

Danielle_SpencerDanielle Spencer is an Associate Faculty member of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, and Faculty of the Einstein-Cardozo Master of Science in Bioethics program. At Columbia University Medical Center she is the instructor for Narrative Medicine Rounds for Child Psychiatry fellows at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital as well as the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program & MedPrep program; she is also on the faculty for the Macy Seminar on Interprofessional Teamwork and Narrative Medicine Intensive Workshops for clinicians, and serves as co-instructor for courses in the Master of Science in Narrative Medicine program. In the Einstein-Cardozo program she is on the faculty of the Bioethics and Medical Humanities foundations course and teaches specialized seminars in the Master’s program as well, including a course focused on visuality and the medical gaze. In addition, Spencer worked as artist/musician David Byrne’s Art Director for many years, serving as project manager, editor, collaborator and graphic designer for a wide array of multimedia projects. She also worked with photographer Nan Goldin and pursued graduate work in literary theory in Paris for several years. She has been published in WIRED magazine and Creative Nonfiction, and is at work on a book about identity and perceptual/cognitive differences. Spencer holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.S. in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, where she received the 2012 Narrative Medicine Fellowship award.


Mar 23, 2014
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

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