Burnout in Healthcare: The Need for Narrative, A Basic Narrative Medicine Workshop

This Basic Workshop provides an intensive introductory experience to the methods and skills of Narrative Medicine, with a special focus on the ways narrative medicine techniques can approach the issues of burnout and moral injury in healthcare, and in the workplace in general. These practices are then applicable to unlimited clinical and non-clinical settings. From Friday at 2 pm to Sunday at 2:30 pm, participants gather for plenary presentations by the founders of the Division of Narrative Medicine alternating with small-group seminars and a guest lecture by Kelley Skeff. Participants will form small groups of eight that stay together throughout the weekend, while small group facilitators rotate through the groups.

Plenary presentations by faculty open up themes of how stories work, exploring concepts such as creativity, ethics, bearing witness, and empathy, while the small groups practice rigorous skills in close reading, creative writing, and responding to the writings of others. Close reading is an integral part of the workshop as is short prompted writing and discussion. Participants will gain access to our online resource page prior to the start of the workshop where all information necessary to prepare for the weekend is provided, including literary texts, film, visual art and seminar articles in the field of narrative medicine by leading educators.

Workshop Description & Objectives

These intensive workshops will offer rigorous skill-building in narrative competence. Participants will learn effective techniques for attentive listening, adopting others’ perspectives, accurate representation, and reflective reasoning. Plenary sessions will focus on reconceptualizing empathy, narrative ethics, bearing witness, and illness narratives.

Small group seminars will offer firsthand experience in close reading, reflective writing, and autobiographical exercises. The target audience is physicians, other health care professionals and scholars interested in Narrative Medicine.

The Workshop will be held on Friday from 2p-8p, Saturday from 8:30a-5p and Sunday from 8:30a-2:30p. For additional information, email Joseph Eveld at or call the Division of Narrative Medicine at 212-305-1952.


Come work and study with us for a weekend. Gather with colleagues from the world over to learn the narrative skills of close reading, attentive listening, and creative writing. Find out how your own imagination can reveal things you know unawares. Experience the deep bonds that can form among clinicians and those who care about health care in short periods of small group intensive narrative work. Recognize and be recognized as ones who have care within them.




We invite nurses, physicians, dentists, chaplains, social workers, therapists, public health professionals and other clinicians, as well as writers, academics, scholars and all those interested in the intersection of narrative and medicine to join us. By combining these groups of participants, we can all learn how to unify what are sometimes divided efforts in patient care, integrating the ethical awareness and sensibility with the clinical recognition that can ensue.

Comments from Recent Participants

“I am seeing more the value of narrative medicine – bringing us beyond the superficial to appreciating more the richness and complexity of our lives.”
Tom McNeil, Social Worker
Cape Breton Cancer Centre, Nova Scotia, Canada

“I wish I could attend a workshop every few months. There’s something about having a community of practice that replenishes and inspires. The workshop made me more confident to move forward with [my narrative] project: why not me? why not now?”
Kathy Kirkland, Palliative Care Physician
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Hanover, NH, USA

Participants Will:

  • Develop the narrative competence to nourish empathic doctor-patient relationships
  • Learn narrative communication strategies for patient-centered and life-framed practice
  • Build habits of reflective practice that enhance professionalism and nurture clinical communities
  • Acquire pedagogic skills to teach methods of narrative medicine
  • Replace isolation with affiliation, cultivate enduring collegial alliances, and reveal meaning in clinical practice

Held at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center campus, these weekends will provide opportunities for individual consultations with faculty, shared meals, informal social gatherings, and access to the cultural offerings of New York City.


  • $1000 for participants with income over $100,000/year
  • $850 for income between $45,000 and $100,000/year
  • $500 for income under $45,000/year

(Tuition includes meals during workshop hours, and select readings). Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodations. When available, the early bird registration offers $50 off all tuition fees. Deadline for the early bird special will be updated with the opening of registration.

Discounts for cohorts

Based on our experience that cohorts of participants from an institution are better able to continue their narrative learning and to ignite narrative projects at their home institution, we now offer a discount of $100 on the tuition for each individual who attends within a cohort of two or more.If you plan to come with a cohort, reach out to Joseph Eveld at for more information on how to register for the discount.


Continuing Education Credits offered for Medicine, Dental, Nursing, and Social Work!

Sunday, March 10 at 8:30am to 2:30pm

Hammer Health Sciences Building
701 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032

Event Type

For Professionals, Continuing Medical Education, Nursing



$1000 for participants with income over $100,000/year $850 for income between $45,000 and $100,000/year $500 for income under $45,000/year


##springNMworkshop #againstburnout

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