We are collecting and disseminating stories about the physician experience because:
1. People want to hear them.
You don't have to look much further than the slew of popular television series focused on the lives of physicians to recognize the general public's desire to understand who we are and what we do. Our stories compel and provoke, but they also help demystify doctorhood for the layperson.
2. It's therapeutic.
Physicians are burdened with an increasingly automatized health care system which may distance them from the narrative richness of medicine. Some would argue that in the deluge of data and benchmarks, the stories in medicine are getting lost -- a problem that contributes to physician job dissatisfaction, disillusionment, and notably skyrocketing rates of depression and burnout. Storytelling may help restore joy to practice.
3. It's important.
Narrative competence -- the ability to effectively construct, absorb, or be moved by a story -- is a crucial skill for physicians in the clinic or ward setting, since much of our time is spent collecting, decoding, and repackaging patient "histories." In other words, participating in storytelling may actually help us become better doctors.
4. It's fun!
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