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JUNE 6 - 10, 2016

The Program in Narrative Medicine of Columbia University and the American Medical Student Association are co-sponsoring our third intensive Summer Institute in Narrative Medicine from June 6-10, 2016. We are seeking pre-medical college undergraduates and medical students, and those studying in other health care fields, who want to develop knowledge and skill in Narrative Medicine. This five-day institute will deliver keynote lectures and small-group training in the fundamentals of narrative approaches to clinical care.

  • Receive intensive training in close reading, creative writing, and reflective practice
  • Learn from the national leaders in inter-professional and inter-disciplinary education and team-building
  • Hands-on creative projects in language, visual art, performance art, and multi-media
  • Study with Master of Science in Narrative Medicine graduates, students, and faculty
  • Visit New York resources in the arts, music, and theatre

Follow along with us at #NMedInstitute2016


The registration fee of $395 includes breakfast and lunch each day. The registration fee does not include travel or housing. Membership in AMSA is required to participate in the Institute. For non-members the $445 registration fee includes an AMSA membership in the appropriate membership category. After you register, you will be sent more details, including a list of readings to complete before attending. All activities will take place on the Columbia University Medical Center Campus located at Hammer Health Sciences Building, 701 W. 168th Street, New York, 10032. Register now.

Comments from previous participants:

"Participating in the Narrative Medicine AMSA Summer Institute changed the direction of my fourth year of medical school, and has shaped the trajectory of my medical journey going forward. I attended the week-long seminar at the end of my third year of medical school, and the process of writing and sharing that writing with others helped me to process and unpack the stories that I had encountered throughout the course of my first clinical year. The experience helped me re-discover parts of myself I thought I had lost, and I look forward to applying the skills of close listening and reading as a physician going forward! I know that with my new appreciation for the power of patient narratives, I now have the inner strength to protect myself against burnout, as well as the ability to serve my patients with humility and love."

~ Sonali Tatapudy, M.D. (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, PGY-1, Icahn School of Medicine Pediatrics Residency Program)

"As a current Doctorate of Nursing Practice Student, Leadership Track (DNP), and a practicing Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) who works with medical students, I found the program extremely valuable. It was a luxury, yet also a necessity to be able to spend a week soaking up as much information as possible about Narrative Medicine. It was great being exposed to so much wisdom from an array of experts. It peaked my interest and has given me a foundation to build on, I certainly am interested in returning for additional course work and have begun to slowly implement what I have learned. I highly recommend the Summer Institute, no matter your age or program of study."

~ Ruth Conboy

I would especially recommend the Narrative Medicine Summer Institute for pre-Meds who are about to enter a rigorous medical school application process. Not only did it help me become more comfortable with writing and sharing my own life stories, but I also left the program viewing a career in medicine with a refreshing optimism. A year later, I still keep in touch with my small group (some of which are doctors, counselors, students, writers)- we share our stories and network with one another.
Through collaborative inquiry, self-reflection, and creative exchange, the weeklong Institute helped me better understand myself and the practice of clinical empathy. I recognize that I am not willing to abandon my creative tendencies or love of the humanities in order to study or practice medicine, and now I know that I don't have to. The program prepared me to enter medical school eager to collaborate with peers, mentors, patents, and communities to propel this movement of honoring the role of stories in health care.

~ Melina Manolas (Cornell University Class of 2015, Incoming MD/MPH Student at Tulane University School of Medicine Class of 2020)

Keep in touch:
Twitter  |  Facebook

General resources:
PDF  |  Hotel Accomodation Guide
PDF  |  Schedule (also see below)
Website  |  Master of Science in Narrative Medicine
Website  |  INTIMA: A journal of narrative medicine
PDF  |  Brochure: Narrative Medicine at CUMC
PDF  |  Brochure: Narrative Medicine International



8:30  |  Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30  |  An Introduction to Narrative Medicine  |  Rita Charon, MD, PhD & Craig Irvine, PhD

10:45 - 12:15  |  Small Group Seminars

12:15 - 1:30  |  Lunch

1:30 - 3:00  |  Narrative Ethics  |  Danielle Spencer, MS

3:15 - 4:45  |  Small Group Seminars


8:30  |  Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30  |  Playwriting Workshop  |  Catherine Rogers, MFA, MS

10:45 - 12:15  |  Playwriting workshop continued

12:15 - 1:30  |  Lunch

1:30 - 3:00  |  Narrative Auscultation: Listening with the Ear of the Heart  |  Heather Cariou, MS

3:15 - 4:45  |  Small Group Seminars


8:30  |  Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30  |  The Narrative Life of a Nurse-Poet  |  Kimberly LaForce, RN, MS

10:45 - 12:15  |  Small Group: Clinical Cases from Narrative Medicine

12:15 - 1:30  |  Lunch

1:30 - 3:00 |  Reflections on Teaching, Learning, and Practicing the Clinical Narrative Arts  |  Christopher Travis, MS

3:15 - 4:45  |  Small Group Seminars

6:00 - 8:00  |  Intima Presents Life-Writing: An Evening of Readings about Bodies, Illness and Care
Have a reading of your own you would like to share? Bring it along!  |  Learn more about The Intima, A Journal of Narrative Medicine
Location: WORD UP, the community bookshop


8:30  |  Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30  |  Social Justice and Narrative Medicine  |  Cameron Donald, MS

10:30 - 4:30  |  Observation in Art and Healthcare  |  Deepu Gowda, MD, MPH
Trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY

4:30  |  Adjournment at the Metropolitan Museum's Roof Garden


8:30  |  Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30  |  The Failure of Witnessing in Medicine  |  Kristen Slesar, LCSW, MS

10:45 - 12:15  |  Small Group Seminars

1:00 - 2:00  |  Closing Reflections  |  Gillian Graham, APRN, MS

Columbia University Medical Center
Hammer Health Sciences Building
701 W. 168th Street
New York, NY 10032


Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you require disability accommodations to for this event, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 212-854-2388 or at least 10 days in advance of the event. We will do our best to arrange accommodations received after this deadline but cannot guarantee them.