Statement of Narrative Medicine

Statement of Narrative Medicine Values and Aspirational Goals at the CUNY School of Medicine

The Discipline of Narrative Medicine is becoming an essential part of medical education throughout North and South America and is gaining influence around the globe. The field prepares health professionals to apply the skills and values of narrative understanding to improve outcomes for both patients and caregivers, and to investigate issues pertinent to health and healthcare in a transdisciplinary setting.

Narrative Medicine was first introduced at the CUNY School of Medicine in 2009. As awareness of its importance and impact grew, it became a required element of our undergraduate education in 2014 and is now integrated into all levels of our medical education curriculum.  We use the core principles and practices to forefront the narrative complexity and intensely personal experience of students, faculty and staff who are working to confront and address medical inequity, structural violence, food instability, climate change and countless other factors that contribute to suffering that includes, but is not limited to, poor healthcare outcomes.


 Students engaged in our Narrative Medicine Track of Distinction are prepared to:

-Comprehend & apply the core principles and practices of Narrative Medicine in academic settings

-Recognize and acknowledge the effects of collective trauma, oppression, as well as the liberatory practices of our myriad cultures of origin.

-Invest in the necessary functions of imagination as a tool for survival, liberation, joy, and excellence of both individuals and collective community.

-Witness and honor testimonies of oppression including racism, imperialism, hetero and cis-normativity, ableism, and anti-blackness; recognizing that all people have a role to play in healing from pervasive inequities.

-Develop the dialectical capacities for non-judgmental self-reflection and critical self-awareness.

-Utilize culturally rooted and appropriate forms of art and creative processes toward self-care in the context of a dissonant culture of medical education.

-Recognize the ways language (including diction and assumptions regarding audience) reflects intimate and broad intersections of identity, power and systemic oppression; engage in life-long attention to one’s identity-bound use of language; and respond to others’ language choices with awareness of cultural difference and humility.

-Demonstrate a capacity for healthcare leadership that models receptive service, compassion and collaborative problem solving, in contrast to modern notions of hierarchy, domination and hoarded control.

After engaging in 3-5 years of requisite course work and additional selective Narrative Medicine activities, all students enrolled in the Track of Distinction create a capstone project that develops expertise in one of the following areas: Teaching and Facilitation, Research & Scholarship, or Creative Works in the Humanities and Arts.


Last Updated: 02/09/2022 09:19