Experiential Learning Lab

Narrative Medicine

Under the leadership of Dr. Rita Charon, Columbia University has created a degree-granting department of Narrative Medicine that brings to patient care insights born of informed listening and close textual analysis.  Its mission, like that of the Lab, is to expand the skill set of professionals to address the relational and psychological dimensions of practice.

Mission Statement:


Narrative Medicine fortifies clinical practice with the narrative competence to recognize, absorb, metabolize, interpret, and be moved by the stories of illness. Through narrative training, the Program in Narrative Medicine helps doctors, nurses, social workers, and therapists to improve the effectiveness of care by developing the capacity for attention, reflection, representation, and affiliation with patients and colleagues. Our research and outreach missions are conceptualizing, evaluating, and spear-heading these ideas and practices nationally and internationally.