Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Family Medicine Book Reviews - Coming Soon!
Sharing our stories can validate our frustrations, release pent-up emotion, and connect us to our colleagues. At my old program, the residents had humanities sessions where they wrote 55-word stories,* composed their own personal medical oath, and even spoke with patient guests about the patient experience.
Most major medical journals now include a place in each edition for a narrative medicine piece; even JAMA has poetry and "A Piece of My Mind," both usually penned by docs, every other week.
At the FMEC Board meeting last month, our CEO Larry Bauer brought a huge stack of books written by family docs. (When I say "book," I am not referring to textbooks, but to other nonfiction, though I think there might be a novel or two in there as well.) He remarked that many of these family physician authors released their titles with little fanfare from their Family Medicine colleagues or organizations.
I myself had no idea how many books family docs have written over the years. As one of the leaders of our humanities curriculum at my old program, I would certainly have included some of these writings if I had only known about them.
I vowed to spread the word about these books, so I'm going to be presenting brief reviews of them over the next several months. Perhaps you might find at least a couple of them worthy of a read for personal edification and/or curricular enrichment.
It's so easy, in this job, for empathy to erode under the weight of paperwork and productivity demands, not to mention that people are not always at their best when ill. A brief period of time engaging in medical humanities - be it reading, journaling, or just talking - can be a gentle reminder of why we signed up for this calling.
So please stay tuned for these upcoming book reviews, which will be scattered in amongst my other usual musings.
FMEC = Family Medicine Education Consortium www.fmec.net
JAMA = Journal of the American Medical Association. One of the, if not the, medical journal "biggies."