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2021 Fall Story Slam

December 03, 2021

This was our 9th Story Slam, and our theme was "Courage." I say it every time, but I truly believe it, this was consistently the best story slam from beginning to end that we've ever done. Talk about courage. I so appreciate our 12 storytellers -- students, doctors, a fellow, -- getting up on that stage and sharing their stories of struggle through COVID, of overcoming personal challenges, of discovering lifelong lessons about medicine and themselves. I think It is a such a valuable enterprise in a busy hospital and medical school to share stories, to remind one another what we love about medicine and how it can be so hard. It reaffirms our humanity, common purpose, and sense of community. I think the biggest strength of the story slam is a diversity of presenters-- in age, background, experience, and subject matter. 

It was uncharted territory doing a hybrid presentation --both in the auditorium and on Zoom -- and I thought it worked out well. We had strong audience participation in person and remotely, and the voting by audience members was extremely close.  Winners were Najya Williams, Brooke Stanicky, and Carolina Ramos. Our motto, proven again with this slam: "When people in medicine come together to share stories, everyone is lifted." 


Michael Vitez, winner of the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism at The Philadelphia Inquirer, is the director of narrative medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.