• Transforming Preprofessional Health Education Through Relationship-Centered Care and Narrative Medicine

    Marci J. Swede (see profile) , Tzipi Weiss
    Medical Humanities
    Narrative medicine
    Item Type:
    Medical humanities
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    There is increasing evidence that practitioners’ relational skills, such as empathy and reflection, improve patients’ health outcomes. Efforts to shift education toward patient-centered care in interprofessional teams have been made at the professional level, most notably in medical schools. However, reform must begin at the preprofessional level, to start cultivation of the habits that support humane care as early as possible and protect against empathic decline and the development of counterproductive attitudes to collaboration. The conceptual basis for reform is offered by relationship-centered care (RCC), a framework that goes beyond patient-centered care and interprofessional teamwork to focus on the reciprocal human interactions at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of care. RCC identifies practitioners’ relationships with patients, colleagues, community, and self as the critical interpersonal dimensions of healthcare and describes a foundation of values, knowledge, and skills required for teaching each dimension. The teaching of these foundations can be facilitated with techniques from narrative medicine, a compatible care model that conceptualizes health care as a context in which humans exchange stories and thus require narrative competence. We suggest beginning the educational reform at the preprofessional level with the implementation of a formal curriculum based on the 4 RCC dimensions with students expected to gain beginner levels of competency on these dimensions in addition to evidence-based principles of health sciences. This requires interprofessional collaboration among health professions, social science, and liberal arts faculty and training of health professions faculty in narrative medicine.
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    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
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