Pedagogy of the Pandemic: Narrative Medicine and Radical Empathy
by Sayantani DasGupta et al, 2020
Abstract: We educators have always been witnesses to our students’ lives, but at such an overwhelming, collective level, arguably never more than now, during the convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement. Our students are hurting. As are their families and communities. As is our broader society. As are we. Whether we are online or in person in the fall, our teaching must reflect an attention to and care for this individual pain, this collective trauma. In doing so, we can mindfully re-set our educational goals and intentions, bringing a deliberate care for our classroom communities back to our post-quarantine pedagogical practices.”
by Sayantani DasGupta et al, Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection 2020
Abstract: Narrative medicine gives us the tools to see how militarised metaphors in health care obscure structural contexts by making unclear who we, in medicine, serve and protect. Health workers are not instruments of the state; our duty is to heal communities in need and critique those systems that allow minoritised communities to be disproportionately harmed, while rebuilding those systems in healthier ways. Abolition medicine is a practice of speculation, of dreaming of a more racially just future and acting to bring that vision to fruition.
Medical Education for Social Justice: Paulo Freire Revisited
by Sayantani DasGupta et al, J Med Humanity (2006)
Abstract: Although social justice is an integral component of medical professionalism, there is little discussion in medical education about how to teach it to future physicians. Using adult learning theory and the work of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, medical educators can teach a socially-conscious professionalism through educational content and teaching strategies. Such teaching can model non-hierarchical relationships to learners, which can translate to their clinical interactions with patients. Freirian teaching can additionally foster professionalism in both teachers and learners by ensuring that they are involved citizens in their local, national and international communities.
Between Stillness and Story: Lessons of Children’s Illness Narratives
by Sayantani DasGupta, Pediatrics – Official Journal of Amaerican Academy of Pediatrics (2007)
Abstract: In answer to an increasingly impersonal medical environment, educators in the medical humanities frequently turn to narrative studies to teach students for an emotionally fulfilling and interpersonally related professional practice. However, to elicit, to interpret, and to integrate patient stories into their work effectively, physicians must be in a state of awareness and attention, attuned to their emotional and intellectual reactions. The experiences of children and their families, in the form of pediatric illness narratives, hold unique insights for physicians in how to engage in an ethical, empathetic, and self-reflective practice. In particular, these narratives demonstrate the importance not only of story but also of stillness or silence to the practice of medicine. The voices of patients and their families hold both literal and allegorical lessons for physicians in how to move toward a medical practice involving not only diagnosis and treatment but also recognition and healing.
Reading Bodies, Writing Bodies: Self-Reflection and Cultural Criticism in a Narrative Medicine Curriculum
by Sayantani DasGupta, Literature in Medicine, Project Muse (2003)
Medicine as a profession is intimately associated with the bodies of others, yet, perhaps surprisingly, there is little room to explore the illnesses and other bodily experiences of its practitioners. Although there are a number of personal narratives written by physicians in print, most of these memoirs explore the doctor’s role as a healing professional; few address the medical professional’s own journey through the experience of illness.1 Yet, the reality of physicians’ illnesses and their representations in literature have the potential to alleviate some of the oppositions that burden doctor-patient relations, that is, the perspective of the physician as healthy, authoritative, and powerful as opposed to the patient as sick, compliant, and powerless. The health care professionals most sensitive to these oppositions and perhaps most ideally positioned to critique and change them are medical students, who occupy a unique position, being within the health care system but still viewing it with the eyes of outsiders.
Teaching Cultural Competency Through Narrative Medicine: Intersections of Classroom and Community
by Sayantani DasGupta et al
Cultural competency and narrative medicine are perspectives that assist medical educators in teaching effective, empathetic communication and service delivery to a variety of patients. Unfortunately, educational endeavors in both arenas are often classroom based and at the level of the individual student. Few exercises in either cultural competency or narrative medicine place students directly in contact with the community outside of the medical institution.