"Temple’s Narrative Medicine program is one of the main reasons I chose to pursue my medical education here instead of elsewhere. The spirit of this program and the commitment to humanity in medicine it represents is integral to Temple’s mission as a lifeboat in the storm of the people we serve in the North Philadelphia community."
Katya Ahr, MD, Class of 2021
Internal Medicine Resident, Temple University Hospital
Two-time Temple Story Slammer Winner
Editor, The Pulse Literary Magazine
"Having Narrative Medicine here at Temple has been one of the best parts about my experience here as a faculty member. The support I receive in telling and sharing stories about my experiences, especially during the global pandemic, has allowed and encouraged me to grow as a physician and as a person. The impact on my patients has also been vast, with many of them reaching out to share heartfelt comments after reading my stories. They tell me that these narratives have humanized me as their physician and as a person struggling to help. Every so often one of my patients clips an article by our about me from the newspaper and brings it to clinic "in case you don't have a copy." These experiences have brought us closer together as people, both in our own ways struggling to make the most of medicine."
Erin R Camac, DO, FCCP
Associate Professor, Clinical Thoracic Medicine and Surgery
Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
“The Narrative Medicine program has played a visible role in the lives of many at Temple. Story telling is in many ways what we do as physicians. We listen the stories of our patients and we are transformed by them. I have personally been able to share some of my stories though Story Slams, podcasts and articles that have been organized through the Narrative Medicine program. In the crisis time of the pandemic, it has been the Narrative Medicine program which has been so instrumental to healing the healthcare workers who suffered during the pandemic. The Narrative Medicine program is an invaluable asset to Temple Health"
Jocelyn Edathil MD, PhD, FACP
Associate Professor, Clinical Medicine
"To me, the most valuable thing about the class was hearing the stories of the neighbors we met. As a medical student at LKSOM, I think it is easy to form negative perceptions of the community based on what we hear from the media and those around us. Even as someone who grew up in Philly and went to school in North Philly, I think the power dynamic between Temple and North Philly also lends itself to the narrative that North Philadelphians need to be saved from their environment and Temple Health/ LKSOM are here to do that. Meeting residents of the community and seeing how much depth there was to their stories; how multifaceted they all were and how full our neighbors' lives are helped shatter these stereotypes and help me to see our neighbors as people, just like me. I think that has helped me to relate to my patients and people in general better."
Ernestina F. Gambrah, MD/MAUB, Class of 2021
(Praise for the Narrative Medicine elective Neighbors of North Philadelphia)
"Temple’s Narrative Medicine program helped me appreciate that stories are truly at the heart of medicine, offering invaluable opportunities to write, share, listen, and reflect with classmates and faculty throughout medical school. The program provided a wonderful and necessary space to reflect on meaningful patient experiences, cope with foreseen and unforeseen challenges that arose during med school, and learn from my classmates, who wrote unique pieces based on their own experiences, but consistently did so in a relatable, inspiring, and humbling way. I would not be the same young physician as I am today if it were not for the experiences I had and people I met through Temple’s Narrative Medicine program, which ensured that I never forgot why I entered the field of medicine in the first place: to listen, learn from, and become a helpful player in patients’ stories."
Eileen P. Storey, MD, Class of 2021
"It is difficult to capture in words how essential narrative medicine has been during my time at Temple. On difficult days, it has been a necessary reprieve from the hums and beeps of the ICU, the clatter of patient beds across the ED floor, and the sirens and horns of North Broad. Interacting with patients through the lens of a storyteller has allowed me to shed some of the separation and sterility that commonly marks patient-doctor interactions, and instead has fostered a focus on each patient's background, what their disease means to them, and how they choose to live their lives. It has made me a better listener, a better doctor, and, I'm certain, a better person."
Joe Corcoran, MD, Class of 2021
"Your life, my life, and the lives of the patients we care for are all filled with rich and meaningful stories. Hearing and at times telling them brings us all terrific value. Temple's Narrative Medicine Program taught me how to listen and ask questions in a way that means something to the person on the other end of the interview. Theses skills brought impact to hundreds of patient interactions. Motivated by the power of storytelling, I was able to refocus the frustration and helplessness I felt in regard to the North Philadelphia gun violence into a patient and community advocacy project. Narrative Medicine allowed me to share lasting experiences from an international service trip, meet the individuals living in the neighborhood in which we learn and work, and teach an audience about the potential and beauty of visual storytelling. For the better, Temple's Narrative Medicine Program has shaped the way I practice medicine."
Eric Curran, MD, Class of 2020
Emergency Department Resident, Temple University Hospital
“I truly enjoyed the narrative medicine thread during my time in LKSOM because it required me to think about what I did in a different light. It gave me more understanding of patients’ situations and appreciation for what I am able to do for patients. The great creative displays in the Story Slam gave me goosebumps because there was always a story or delivery that connected on a different level.”
Anita Wamakima, MD, Class of 2020
Surgery Resident, Temple University Hospital