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narrative medicine

I am currently working alongside Dr. Tolu Kehinde and the Center for the Humanities in Medicine at Mayo Clinic to develop a medical humanities course that explores the critical intersection between narrative and social justice in healthcare. 

During my time working as Program Director for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine & Science, I served as a facilitator of a monthly narrative medicine workshop in the Center for Humanities in Medicine. Narrative medicine is a discipline and practice developed by Rita Charon, MD, PhD who first coined the term to describe a kind of "narrative competence" that opens up radical understanding, empathy, and compassion between patients and healthcare providers. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, The Lancet published an article entitled Abolition MedicineIts authors Yoshiko Iwai, Zahra H. Khan, and Sayantani DasGupta described the powerful ways in which narrative... the stories we tell, the language we use, the meaning we make... profoundly shapes systemic injustices in healthcare.


I continue to seek out opportunities to learn more about narrative medicine and how to use it as a tool toward abolition in our communities, writ large. The questions asked by abolition medicine and the potential of narrative tools are community questions, community tools. Meaning, they are of the people and should be engaged in spaces alongside those most impacted by ongoing injustices. Writers, poets, storytellers, story weavers, and everyday griots, all have a role in helping us understand the narratives that break our world. Understanding how to dismantle these stories and tell new ones allows us to make radically new worlds grounded in justice, peace, and liberation for all. 

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