Narrative Medicine

The Humanities Institute is pleased to support the multidisciplinary Narrative Medicine Initiative at Ohio State.

Rita Charon

In her pioneering text, Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness, Rita Charon, MD, director and founder of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, defines narrative medicine as “medicine practiced with these narrative skills of recognizing, absorbing, interpreting, and being moved by the stories of illness.”  Through the close analysis of literary texts, students develop this “narrative competence” that enables them to deliver care that is not only more empathetic and compassionate, but also more effective.  Keynote speaker Rita Charon delivered “An Expansive Care of the Sick” on April 5, 2013 at the Narrative Medicine in the 21st Century Conference, co-sponsored by the institute.