Narrative Medicine

Narrative Medicine leverages the theories and tools of philosophy, neuro, and social sciences of story in medicine. Human beings are wired for story. When we pause, we create stories and understanding. Narrative and story are key not only for a good medical history, but for understanding the context of the patient experience, and help us as practitioners understand how our own story impacts the patient physician relationship. Without this context, many if not most of our interventions will have less efficacy. At Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center for Family Medicine and Residency, we teach and practice medicine using narrative methods including screening for adverse childhood and experiences, resiliency, and life stories. We leverage what we learn to treat the patient and family in the context of their story, as well as examining our own story as providers. Narrative Medicine, along with an excellent physical exam leads us to reduce errors in logic and improve patient care outcomes with the added bonus of reducing physician burn out (this has been proven!).