“HPU LifeLines: Poetic Medicine Heals Young and Old”
Could poetry improve a doctor’s bedside manner? Could it help patients heal? Proponents of the field of “narrative medicine” believe that stories of illness and healing can better enable us to deal with the trauma of sickness, whether we are patients, healthcare providers, or observers. Effective care requires a sturdy bond of trust between doctors and patients, yet the current healthcare-industrial complex often dehumanizes suffering and desensitizes healthcare professionals to the personal stories of their patients. Narrative medicine seeks to replace hurried and impersonal care with careful listening and empathy. All of us have health stories to share, and all of us will, at some point in our lives, face medical choices and challenges that narrative medicine can help us navigate more effectively. Through interactive poetry workshops, HPU LifeLines puts narrative medicine theory into practice, promoting tangible health benefits and strengthening the empathic bond between students and community partners.