Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Timothy Yenter

Second Advisor

Sumner Abraham

Third Advisor

Natasha Jeter

Relational Format



The patient-clinician relationship is one that relies heavily on trust and understanding—both of which are reached through effective communication. As medicine advances, it is increasingly important to prioritize the human interaction in the clinical encounter. Illness is more than just a set of diagnoses; it is the culmination of one’s way of being and interacting with the world while experiencing these diagnoses—it is a narrative. In order for physicians to provide quality care, trust and understanding are of the utmost importance, but oftentimes these are not at the forefront of medical practice due to logistical barriers that the US healthcare system presents.

This thesis aims to explore the arts aspect of medicine as seen through narratives and their integral role in the ability to provide quality care and reintroduce meaning in work. I argue that the integration of Narrative Medicine into one’s practice brings the focus back to the patient, allows the provider to be reminded of their initial draw to medicine, and equips clinicians with the means to practice quality care that extends past that singular clinical encounter.

The human body is incredibly complex and interconnected, and a clinician's understanding of a patient's thoughts, emotions, and more can provide important insights into their overall health. By integrating narrative medicine into their practice, physicians can treat patients in a manner that recognizes the unique experiences and perspectives of each individual. This approach allows providers to connect with patients on a deeper level and provide more comprehensive and effective care while simultaneously promoting clinicians to continually develop their professional identities.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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