Initiating Narrative Medicine at a Medical College in Pakistan: Achievements, Challenges, and Opportunities

Huma Baqir, Kanwal Nayani, Ayesha Mian, Asad I. Mian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Writing has always been a part of medicine, but it was largely used as a means to disseminate objective data. With changing times, qualitative writing in the form of narrative medicine (NM) is fast coming to the forefront. Data in the field from high-income countries have shown an enhancement in empathy and professionalism alike, for both patients and health care practitioners. Studies also elucidate the benefits of incorporating NM into medical curricula. However, there is scant literature from low-income to middle-income countries concerning NM. In this brief report, we discuss NM in the context of low- to middle-income regions like ours, describing how a workshop on NM-based reflective writing was developed and executed at Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. This workshop, titled "Narrative Medicine: Where Every Patient's Story Matters," was conducted in January 2016 and was attended by medical students, residents, and physicians as well as professionals from nonmedical backgrounds. The workshop served as an introduction to NM, and there are plans to further develop it at Aga Khan University. This development includes creating a digital library of narratives, releasing an annual NM newsletter, incorporating NM into the undergraduate curriculum, and conducting studies to assess the impact of our intervention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Permanente journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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