Doctor to discuss book about her experience as critical-care patient

Rana Awdish, MD, director of the pulmonary hypertension program at Henry Ford Hospital, will discuss her book, In Shock, at Neurology Grand Rounds Wednesday, August 22 at 8 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Trent Semans Center for Health Education.

In Shock is a first-hand account of Dr. Awdish’s transformation from a critical care doctor at the end of her training into a critical care patient, as well as how this experience affected her.

Learn more about Awdish.

Book club to discuss doctor-patient communication June 19, 2018

The Department of Medicine Book Club will host a discussion of What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, by Danielle Ofri, MD, on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

What Patients Say was published in 2017. In it, Ofri reflects on the latest research studies about the connections between communication and health, interviews with scholars, doctors, patients, and hospital executives, and her own experience as a physician.

All faculty, trainees, students, and staff are invited to participate.

Learn more and find a link to register at MedicineNews.

Inventory meeting #2

Our meeting of the Duke Narrative Medicine Colloquium on February 23 was the second of two introductions to who we are, what we are interested in, and what is already happening across campus.

At the meeting: two physicians, a nursing student, and the chief of staff of Provost’s Office.

We talked about these ideas and current projects:

  • Searching out, and welcoming, a diversity of voices, and shining light on the stories of people who get overlooked.
  • Linking faculty and students on campus, i.e. in non-medicine departments, with colleagues and peers in medicine, nursing, and other health fields in Duke Health.
  • Facilitating narrative interaction between nurses and doctors, and among interdisciplinary health care teams.
  • Facilitating narrative activities (writing, storytelling) for the patients and providers in palliative care, hospice, and end of life.
  • Creating a print publication to feature the narrative writings of Duke people.
  • Increased opportunity for small groups of students, caregivers, and others to use stories in a private, protected gathering as a way to debrief, decompress, make meaning, and understand.

Add your ideas and activities

Please take a minute to fill out our past and current projects form. We’ll use this, and what we learn at the inventory meetings, to create a list of activities and potential proposals, events, and initiatives.

What’s next

We’ll post a preliminary inventory of past, current, and planned narrative medicine activities, resources, and experts at Duke.

We’ll plan a session to hear short presentations about a variety of existing narrative medicine activities at Duke. (Fill out the projects form linked above to alert us if you’d like to be a presenter.)

Notes from the Voices of Medicine show

The Voices of Medicine storytelling show February 28 was a success. Bravo! to our six storytellers:

  • Govind Krishnan
  • TuanDat Nguyen
  • Elena Roberts
  • Joel Burt-Miller
  • Luke Gatta
  • David Zaas

If you attended the show, please take a moment to give us feedback using this simple online form. Your ideas will help us make the next Voices show even better.

We’ll post videos of the stories in a couple of weeks.

How would you spend your time?

This is one of the best essays I’ve read recently, and it’s a nice example of narrative medicine, by Professor Omid Safi, who is director of Duke’s Islamic Studies Center: What I Did When I Thought I Had Two Hours to Live. It brought tears to my eyes. Hope you enjoy it, too.

What would you do if you knew you had a year to live? A month? A day? How would you spend your time?  Who would you spend it with?  What would you do?

The Duke Center for Palliative Care, in partnership with the Duke Chapel Bridge Series, and the Duke University School of Nursing will explore those questions with a program titled Dignity, Diversity and Visions of a Good Death   on Friday, February 23, from 5:30 p.m. to  7:00 p.m. in Duke Chapel. A reception will follow. RSVP to Jennifer Bowen at

Dr. Ray Barfield — one of our narrative medicine leaders here at Duke, and a colloquium member — was interviewed by Duke professor Kate Bowler for her new podcast, Everything Happens.