An Introduction to Reading, Writing, and Reflecting in Clinical Practice and Self-Care

Narrative-based medicine is premised on the understanding that, knowingly and unknowingly, practitioners and patients together construct narratives over the course of their encounters; that these stories – with their multiple characters, conflicts and desires, subtleties and miscommunications – affect the nature and meaning of health events in all our lives; and that getting better at working with stories of all kinds has a powerful impact on both patient care and physician fulfilment.

Taught by an accomplished writer with long experience working with health professionals, this intensive program introduces the theory and practice of narrative-based medicine and seeks to improve learners’ creative and reflective skills as writers and readers.

The program is Canada’s only virtual intensive certificate program in narrative-based clinical practice. Domestic and international learners across all disciplines are welcome.

Target Audience

This program is designed for healthcare practitioners from multiple disciplines looking to inform their professional practice with narrative approaches. It will also be of benefit to health professionals seeking to explore creative and reflective writing for their own sake.


There are two cohorts for this program:

  • Tuesday Cohort starts on January 19, 2021 and will run for 8 sessions over 6 months. Sessions will be held every third Tuesday from 6-8:30pm ET (Toronto) from January 19 to June 15.
  • Thursday Cohort starts on January 21, 2021 and will run for 8 sessions over 6 months. Sessions will be held every third Thursday from 6-8:30pm ET (Toronto) from January 21 to June 17. – This cohort is now full.


  • Learn introductory theory and concepts of narrative-based clinical practice
  • Develop skills in narrative-based medicine through practical exercises in observation, attention, close reading, close listening, and in-class reflective writing related to clinical experiences
  • Discuss and develop ways to integrate narrative-based medicine techniques into daily clinical practice
  • Deepen craft of reflective and creative writing through writing exercises, lectures and discussion
  • Advance close reading skills via discussion of health-related and other published works in a variety of genres
  • Develop skills of respectful response and helpful editing/commentary by sharing participant work
  • Build an inter-professional community of practice, learning and teaching in order to foster person-centered care and reflective self-care


Participants in this continuing medical education offering will demonstrate improved abilities in reflectiveness, sensitivity to patients, teamwork and personal creativity, and heightened skills in close reading and reflective and creative writing.

“I loved learning with a professional writer. I was introduced to a whole new universe of ideas, jargon and concepts.”

“The practical approach to teaching with theory followed by writing and then by constructive feedback helped me to grasp key concepts quickly”

“The group provided a supportive and intimate space to explore the topic of narrative medicine through literature and from invited speakers. It was wonderful.” ;

“I wish this course could have lasted longer. Keep up the great work!”