Every day, healthcare professionals live an extraordinary paradox between the witness of pain and suffering, and a life of courage, love, and resiliency.
“I feel that allowing groups time to reflect and enhance their narrative medicine skills will create a more unified team and ultimately help bring empathy and compassion back into our work.” – Dr. Alyssa Boyd
Narrative-based medicine is based on the understanding that practitioners and patients together create stories over the course of their encounters; impacting the nature and meaning of health events in all our lives; and that getting better at working with stories of all kinds has a powerful impact on both patient care and physician fulfillment.
Since the COVID pandemic hit, CGMH has been experiencing increasingly high rates of physician and nursing burnout. People are exhausted, overworked and feeling undervalued. Nurses are leaving the profession and some physicians are discouraging their own children from entering the healthcare field. With increased stress and workloads, we don’t want CGMH to lose sight of the meaning behind their work.
Narrative medicine offers healthcare professionals the means to improve the effectiveness of their work with patients, themselves, their colleagues, and the public. If the physician cannot connect with a patient on a more human level, the patient might not tell the whole story, might not ask the most frightening questions, and might not feel heard.
Dr. Alyssa Boyd took the request to the Giving Circle membership and was granted the $15,000 to run the program. So far, attendance has been high and feedback has been extremely positive as participants have time and space to reflect and enhance their narrative medicine skills to create a more unified team and ultimately help bring empathy and compassion back into their work.