Health tech

What can doctors learn from creative writing?

The third episode of a Philly-made YouTube series on healthcare innovation covers how storytelling might help make the healthcare experience more humane.

Temple's director of narrative medicine, Mike Vitez. (Screenshot via YouTube)

YouTubing doctor David Hindin dropped a new episode of his online series on healthcare innovation — aptly titled “Why Your Doctor Should Day Dream” — and this one hits home.

For the third episode of the show, Hindin speaks with¬†Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Mike Vitez, a former Inquirer scribe who now runs a narrative medicine program at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

Throughout workshops, Vitez takes physicians in training around North Philly to just talk to people and produce stories in the vein of the popular photoblog Humans of New York.

“We try to get people getting better at sharing stories,” Vitez tells Hindin in the four-minute episode. “That will make them happier doctors.”

Every fall since 2016, students go out to the community in search of stories. Then, a gallery is generated with photos and stories.

“Stories have incredible power,” said Vitez in the vid. “I feel like if I can get these young physicians thinking [of] stories, appreciating their patients’ stories, learning themselves how to make a story better … if they appreciate patient’s stories, they won’t think of patients as problems or another case but as individuals. And they’ll care more.”


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