Lecture Discussion 109    

Hugh Blumenfeld, MD PhD, Tracy Fox, RN    

Though the field of Narrative Medicine was established for healing patients, in many healthcare settings it is introduced as a way for healers to heal themselves and increase empathy and self-reflection in their practice. For this purpose, there is ample evidence of benefit.

1 There is also a growing body of evidence supporting inter-professional education among healthcare professionals.

2 The presenters (an MD with years of experience teaching creative writing and an RN who is a former Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist) will describe how we combined these two evidence-based practices in the creation of an inter-professional writers workshop that met monthly during the Fall-Winter of 2019-20.

This series of workshops employed two techniques that helped the group function successfully: guided free-writing and reflective feedback; as with Balint, an effective, self-sustaining writers group requires a set of techniques and rules to help create an atmosphere of exploration and trust. Each member of our group completed a piece of writing for the hospital's annually published literary magazine. The resulting contribution to personal wellness, professional development and the institution's culture of humanism have been substantial. By providing background to support the utility of such a project, describing the step by step process of creating our group despite challenges and pitfalls, and by explaining and providing first-hand experience in the use of these writing and feedback techniques to participants, we hope to provide the tools needed by others to form writers groups at their own institutions.