<< See all workshops offered


June 23 - 26, 2016   |    Registration Full - Please email Cindy Smalletz at to be added to the waitlist
** NOTE: Prerequisite: Completion of the Basic Workshop

Many of the past participants have embarked on original and consequential projects in narrative medicine. We gather a group of around 20 "graduates" of our Basic Workshop for this Advanced Training. The mornings will be spent in work groups in which participants present works-in-progress to those undertaking similar work seeking advice, collective experience, new collaborators, and ideas from the front. The afternoons will be spent in advanced narrative medicine training—in close reading, narrative medicine pedagogy, and narrative clinical practice. Together, we will consult with one another regarding such urgent questions as:

  • How do I design curriculum in narrative medicine for a particular group of learners?
  • How do I interest students and faculty in trying narrative medicine curriculum?
  • What allies should I seek in introducing narrative medicine to my school/hospital/residency program/practice?
  • How do I evaluate the learning outcomes or clinical outcomes of my teaching?
  • How do I embark on clinical narrative interventions in practice?
  • How do I fund my research or teaching in narrative medicine?
  • What literary and philosophical texts would be helpful in my work?
  • How do I convince my dean (chair/chief/supervisor) that narrative medicine methods belong in our unit and its scholarship and research are grounds for promotion?


Many persons engaged in health care, either as patients or providers, are hungry to give and receive care. Attentive listening, creative contact, singular accuracy, and personal fidelity have gone missing from the routines of our practices. Among the many responses to the failures of our current health care system is Narrative Medicine. Developed at Columbia University in 2000, Narrative Medicine fortifies clinical practice with the ability to recognize, absorb, interpret, and be moved by stories of illness. We realize that the care of the sick unfolds in stories, and we recognize that the central event of health care is for a patient to give an account of self and a clinician to skillfully receive it.

The clinical routines and the teaching methods of Narrative Medicine, our experience and research show, can transform practice and training. Time-tested teaching approaches can help participants who seek to convey to their learners the skills of empathic interviewing, reflective practice, narrative ethics, self-awareness, and creating and sustaining healing intersubjective contact with patients and colleagues.

Come work and study with us for a weekend. Gather with colleagues from the world over to learn the narrative skills of close reading, attentive listening, and creative writing. Find out how your own imagination can reveal things you know unawares. Experience the deep bonds that can form among clinicians and those who care about health care in short periods of small group intensive narrative work. Recognize and be recognized as ones who have care within them.

Physicians, Nurses, Social Workers, Dentists, Mental Health Professionals, Public Health Professionals, Chaplains, Writers, Academics, Scholars, and all those interested in the intersection of narrative and medicine.


  • Develop the narrative competence to nourish empathic doctor-patient relationships
  • Learn narrative communication strategies for patient-centered and life-framed practice
  • Build habits of reflective practice that enhance professionalism and nurture clinical communities
  • Acquire pedagogic skills to teach methods of narrative medicine
  • Replace isolation with affiliation, cultivate enduring collegial alliances, and reveal meaning in clinical practice

Held at the Columbia University Medical Center campus, these weekends will provide opportunities for individual consultations with faculty, shared meals, informal social gatherings, and access to the cultural offerings of New York City.

$1000 for participants with income over $100,000/year, and $850 for income under $100,000/year (includes syllabus, meals during workshop hours, and readings). Participants are responsible for their own travel and accomodations. When available, the early bird registration offers $50 off both tution amounts.

Discounts for cohorts:
Based on our experience that cohorts of participants from an institution are better able to continue their narrative learning and to ignite narrative projects at their home institution, we now offer a discount of $100 on the tuition of each individual who attends within a cohort of two or more.

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.