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Re-thinking the Narrative in Narrative Medicine: The Example of Post-War French Literature

Abstract

Medicine and the humanities have been exploring new ways to improve the quality of healthcare. One such collaboration is the practice of narrative medicine which uses literature to teach physicians to better meet their patients’ needs. Narrative medicine, however, draws primarily from Anglophone literature, yet post-war French literature, philosophy and criticism have much to add to the theoretical and practical underpinnings of narrative medicine. As well, such scholarship provokes a number of questions that expose certain weaknesses in narrative medicine as it is practiced currently. As this paper demonstrates, drawing post-war French literature into narrative medicine opens new ways to think about life, narrative and the place of the patient in the modern healthcare system.

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Correspondence to Catherine Dhavernas.

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Dhavernas, C. Re-thinking the Narrative in Narrative Medicine: The Example of Post-War French Literature. J Med Humanit (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-020-09611-z

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Keywords

  • Narrative medicine
  • Medical humanities
  • Post-war French literature
  • Limits of narrative
  • The Other