David S. Riley, MD
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Riley DS. Narrative in Health Care: Healing Patients, Practitioners, Profession, and Community. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150:572. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-150-8-200904210-00023
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(8):572.
Engel JD, Zarconi J, Pethtel LL, Missimi SA. 270 pages. Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing; 2008. $49.95. ISBN 9781846191930. Order at http://www.radcliffe-oxford.com/books.
Field of medicine: General medical practice.
Format: Softcover book.
Audience: This scholarly book is for health care providers who want to better understand the role of a patient's story and its meaning and role in the healing process.
Purpose: To provide the skills necessary to practice narrative or relationship-centered medicine.
Content: The narrative process is a way to bridge the gaps in our health care system that so often separate patients from practitioners. To meaningfully honor a patient's story requires a skill set that health care providers often lack. The authors begin with a discussion of the historical legacy of biomedicine followed by explanation of narrative context for encounters with patients in the health care setting, as well as in the professional and broader community. The second half of the book is preceded by a fascinating adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich, as a play. The final section offers skills required to practice relationship-centered care with some practical exercises. The book concludes with a discussion of evidence for benefit of practicing narrative medicine and some of the risks associated with practicing medicine that does not honor a patient's story.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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