Published by The Advocacy Committee of the
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Diagnosis Goes Low Tech

The New York Times, October 11, 2003


''It is easy to lose sight of the fact that still, in the 21st century, it is believed that 80 to 85 percent of the diagnosis is in the patient's story.''
-- Dr. Jerry Vannatta, former dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

The field of narrative medicine is described, where physicians are trained to listen to their patients' stories and to understand the way their own emotions affect their perceptions, and ultimately their clinical practice.

The Program in Narrative Medicine, part of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, is also described. ''No medical school can train students in empathy,'' said Dr. Rita Charon, a faculty member of The Program in Narrative Medicine with both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in English. ''But we have a duty to equip them with the ability to see, to articulate, to grasp and comprehend the position of the patient.''

Subjects Covered: healing, medicine

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