Please open with a vivid and compelling short story of a patient encounter

The textbooks that I used as a medical student in the 1990s were illustrated with photographs of real patients. I can vividly recall the images of three depicted patients, stripped naked, standing with their palms facing upwards, posed with their hands by their sides and feet shoulder width apart like Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man….

Let’s Play a Game: Imagination in a Narrative Medicine Workshop

Avril Tynan // In 2010, Martha C. Nussbaum published Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, a manifesto on the importance of arts and humanities education for social and political life. The role of critical thinking in global education policies is being undermined, she argues, by an emphasis on rote learning and the promotion…

His Wife (No. 8847)

Jonathan Chou // His Wife (No. 8847) History from wife. The water came in through painted rain pipes. It was not paint but a daub of lard on his wife’s dress. She didn’t remove it after all.1 Things didn’t go smoothly. Furniture had to be wiped off. Elix. Iron Phos. Quin. & Strych. Smash the…

Veterans, Transition and Bodily Identity

Kristina Fleuty // I wonder, does engaging in writing practices offer any health benefits specifically to the veteran population? Furthermore, if there is evidence of health benefits; does any of this evidence offer insight into how the individual comes to terms with their changing bodily and psychological identity during the transition process? I would like…

Metaphor, Medical Decisions and the Military Mindset

Kristina Fleuty // How would you describe what it is like to live with an injured and chronically painful limb? How would you communicate to a medical professional your reasoning for wanting the elective amputation of that limb? I have recently been pondering how people talk about their bodily experiences, both to their friends and…

Tears and rain. Finding a bird and a depressed place.

The first time I saw a parliament of rooks flocking in the early evening sky, I was studying for my Master’s degree. Let me explain. We found ourselves on the edge of a field with naturalist Mark Cocker, just as dusk was turning the clouds a mottled grey colour, waiting for some birds to appear….