In This Section

Narrative Medicine Program

Our mission is to focus on the human side of medicine, to increase the satisfaction and fulfillment of students and physicians, and to chronicle the amazing world of Temple University Hospital. We do this through a celebration of and emphasis on stories and storytelling. Check out our podcast "Narratives of North Broad" >>

The facts are well reported: Doctors too often feel isolated, frustrated, and burned out. Their humanity is challenged. The focus on the patient and patient’s story is often overlooked and devalued in the rush and crush. Students come into medical school full of empathy but in their education and training this often erodes.

Our goal is to protect and support this empathy, to nourish the humanism that brings physicians into the profession, and to teach the skills of narrative that help at the bedside and beyond.

Our program has curricular and extracurricular components. Reflective writing forms a significant component of the Professional Identity Formation thread in the MD curriculum. Electives in medical humanities range from exploration of narrative medicine to photo storytelling to improvisational acting. Students also conceive and complete individual or group projects for elective credit under the guidance of our faculty.

Extracurricular activities include a wide array of writing and narrative medicine workshops—some led by students—for students, residents, and hospital staff. “Narrative Medicine Talks” is our regular speaker series, and we convene fall and spring Story Slams for the Lewis Katz School of Medicine and Temple Hospital Community.

Our program gives medical students and physicians skills and opportunities to reflect on their experiences, to find and celebrate meaning in their work, and to appreciate the value of the patient’s story in patient care.  

We encourage publication and dissemination of our work in medical journals and the lay press. This narrative medicine page is home to much of our student writing, and each year students compile and publish The Pulse, our local literary magazine.

Stories are an indispensable part of medicine. Along with the physician’s touch, they are at the core of the patient-physician relationship. Stories have the power to heal, inspire, build relationships and change the world.

Douglas Reifler, MD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Medical Humanities
Michael Vitez, Director of Narrative Medicine
Naomi Rosenberg, MD, Assistant Director of Narrative Medicine


From the Class of 2023

June 09, 2021
By: Rebecca Mayeda, Class of 2023
May 26, 2021
By: Alexander Nguyen, Class of 2024
April 30, 2021
By: Eileen Storey, LKSOM 2021
March 23, 2021
By: Peter Gould, Class of 2021
March 22, 2021
By: Michael Vitez
February 18, 2021
By: Eric Curran, LKSOM 2020

2020 Temple Health Essay Contest Winner

January 25, 2021
By: Mali Jurkowski, MD, Internal Medicine PGY-2

A Year Like No Other

January 25, 2021
By: Michael Vitez

2020 Temple Health Essay Contest Winner

January 25, 2021
By: Rick Martin, MD, Emergency Medicine

2020 Temple Health Essay Contest Winner

January 25, 2021
By: Emily Hancin, LKSOM 2023