Saturday, August 18, 2007

Grand Rounds 3:49: Call for Submissions

On Tuesday, August 28, I'll be hosting Grand Rounds, the weekly medblogging carnival.

This edition will have a suggested -- but not required! -- theme of Narrative Medicine, which I've explained below. I'll be choosing the thirty best-written and most interesting posts, whether they're connected to the theme or not.

The submission deadline is noon PDT on Sunday, August 26. Please e-mail your submission to SusanPal at aol dot com. Put "Grand Rounds" in the subject line of the e-mail, and please include the URL of the post, a 2-3 line summary of the post, and the name and URL of your blog. If you have questions, please let me know!

So what's Narrative Medicine, anyway?

Pioneered by Rita Charon, an internist and professor at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons, Narrative Medicine trains doctors and other caregivers to use careful listening and reflective writing to forge deeper connections with their patients, resulting in better care.

Charon describes three essential components of narrative medicine, all of which are natural topics for medbloggers:

Attention: Listening carefully to patients, which includes remaining sensitive to what they may not be saying, gives the caregiver potentially valuable information and also makes the patient feel more cared for. So: when have you heard a patient story that surprised or moved you? When has a patient responded with gratitude to your attentive listening?

Representation: Using writing to reflect on patient interactions helps caregivers understand both their own feelings and those of their patients more deeply. What has medblogging, or other reflective writing, taught you about yourself or about your patients?

Affiliation: The process of attending carefully to patients and reflecting on patient stories ultimately makes caregivers stronger and more passionate patient advocates, because they've become more invested in their patients' lives. How has medblogging changed the way you approach or understand patients? How has writing made you a better caregiver, or made you better at caring for yourself in a demanding profession?

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