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mstokes's picture

The importance of stories in medicine

Thanks for this article, Sophie.  Oliver Sacks shapes his discussion and investigation of migraine around hundreds of his collected stories of neurology patients he saw and treated over the years; he quickly discovered in his practice of medicine that he would never successfully help or treat his patients without hearing and understanding their stories.  (I know I keep mentioning Oliver Sacks and his book Migraine, but as I continue reading and thinking about it, I continue to find great parallels to our discussion.)

 Perhaps the idea of story-collecting has always been more central to the practice of neurology than other fields of medicine (I remember that on my first visit to a neurologist when I was 10 the doctor collected both my life story and my mother's life story), because neurology deals more with the intersection of our story life and our medical self; but it seems very reasonable that the intersection would extend to other areas of medicine, as indeed our story life and medical self never fail to intersect.  

 

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