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Medical Articles

"Narrative studies, many physicians are beginning to believe, can provide the "basic science" of a story-based medicine that can honor the patients who endure illness and nourish the physicians who care for them."
-- Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D., The New England Journal of Medicine


The articles below describe various uses of storytelling and medicine, including:

  1. Why are patient stories valuable in health care? Institute for Healthcare Improvement: Open School (Cambridge, MA), April 30, 2015

  2. Physician-author Abraham Verghese encourages journalists to tell the powerful stories of medicine Scope - Stanford Medicine (Stanford, CA), April 24, 2015

  3. Stories Triggered The Measles Outbreak, And Storytelling Can Stop It Forbes (Jersey City, NJ), February 3, 2015

  4. Storytelling for Wellness Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC), December 10, 2013

  5. Why Storytelling is the Best Way to Engage Health Care Audiences, August 21, 2013

  6. Tuberculosis Storytelling Project for King County Residents Enumclaw Courier-Herald (Enumclaw, WA), August 3, 2013

  7. Storytelling Helps Convey Science, Medical Data in Tangible Ways WHYY News (Philadelphlia, PA), May 15, 2013

  8. How a Physician and Nurse Merge Healing, Storytelling Press-Citizen (Iowa City, IA), July 11, 2012

  9. Physicians Emphasize Importance of Storytelling to Advance Patient Care University of California, San Francisco News (San Francisco, CA), January 24, 2012

  10. Talk Therapy Boston Globe (Boston, MA), March 21, 2011

  11. When Patients Share Their Stories, Health May Improve The New York Times (New York, NY), February 10, 2011

  12. Storytelling May Help Lower Blood Pressure, January 17, 2011

  13. Our Stories, Ourselves Monitor, a publication of the American Psychological Association (Washington, DC), January 2011

  14. Learning to Listen The New York Times (New York, NY), December 29, 2009

  15. Social Media Experience at Mayo Clinic Fast Forward the Blog, January 27, 2009

  16. Stories in the Service of Making a Better Doctor The New York Times (New York, NY), October 24, 2008

  17. Once Upon a Time There was a Sickness ABC Online (Australia), April 17, 2008

  18. Health Department Hopes Personal Stories will Inspire Change Daily Herald (Provo, UT), March 26, 2008

  19. Storytelling Can Make a Difference in Conflict The Times of India (New Delhi, India), October 1, 2007

  20. Storytellers Tackle Modern Woes with Old Tales (UK), May 24, 2007

  21. Literature as Path Toward Understanding Illness Web Weekly: News from the Harvard Medical Community (Cambridge, MA), September 26, 2005

  22. NYU Workshops Address Storytelling in Law and Medicine New York Sun (New York, NY), January 4, 2005

  23. Storytelling Known for Healing Nature Billings Gazette (Billings, MT), December 8, 2004

  24. Storyteller Shows Health Officials a New Way to Communicate with Alaskans Anchorage Daily News (Anchorage, Alaska), December 7, 2004

  25. Teaching Through Stories: Televised Play Brings Cancer Information to Native Alaskans Capital City Weekly (Juneau, Alaska), August 24, 2004

  26. Tall Tales Told at Civic Center Arizona Sentinel, August, 2004

  27. Across the Land, Plots are Thickening LA Times, July 29, 2004

  28. The Power Of Design; IDEO Redefined Good Design By Creating Experiences, Not Just Products Business Week, May 17, 2004

  29. Narrative and Medicine The New England Journal of Medicine, February 26, 2004

  30. Creative Expression Workshops for Immigrant and Refugee Children Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, February, 2004

  31. Learning From Stories--a Pathway to Patient Safety Association of Operating Room Nurses Journal, January, 2004

  32. Diagnosis Goes Low Tech The New York Times, October 11, 2003

  33. Even in a High-Tech World, Storytellers Can Still Spin a Good Yarn Chicago Tribune Online Edition, July, 2003


For more information about the uses of storytelling in medicine and healing, see The Healing Story Alliance, a Special Interest Group of the National Storytelling Network.

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If you know of articles which should be included in this collection, please email them to