Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: narrative medicine

  • The Call of the Wild and COVID-19

    Liam ButchartStony Brook, New York, United StatesSamantha RizzoWashington DC, United States The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought a terrible toll upon all of us and has brought the medical system—and the providers who inhabit it—to its knees. There is a tradition in medicine, following Sir William Osler’s “Aequinimitas,” of compassionate detachment: as physicians or trainees, we…

  • My very own back pain

    Andrew BamjiRye, East Sussex, UK As a rheumatologist, now retired, I spent a good portion of my working life dealing with patients who had back pain. I reckoned over the course of thirty-three years in the specialty that I had back pain largely nailed. I developed an algorithm which enabled me to determine, with what…

  • Letting go of logic

    Nimisha BajajColumbus, Ohio, United States “He’s here for aspiration pneumonia. He doesn’t want a G-tube even though we tried to explain to him that if he continues to eat and drink by mouth, this will keep happening and he will eventually die from it. Can you come down and see him?” The palliative care fellow,…

  • That reminds me of a story: the language of narrative in medicine

    Ann Redpath New York City, United States Story is ubiquitous. It’s no wonder that it shows up in medicine. How does narrative feed medical language?    Photography by teachandlearn “I have over 500 patients,” the heart surgeon raised her voice in exasperation. “I just want you to hear my side of the story,” the patient countered.…

  • Why connection matters: Understanding patients’ illness by understanding their reality

    Julius KremlingBochum, Germany On the construction of reality and its medical implications Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann will be long remembered for having authored the widely acclaimed book The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. In this jewel of sociology they argue that there is not just one reality…