Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 6-2015


Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP) 2015 Conference Stowe, VT


Curriculum Design; Medical Education; Patient Narrative; Reflection


Educational Challenge: The foundations course of our reformed, organ-based curriculum introduces clinical interviewing when students know little clinical medicine. An exercise that introduces the complementary concepts of “illness scripts” and “narrative medicine” helps them structure early encounters with patients. It provides a framework for organizing future clinical knowledge while reinforcing the humanistic values that may deteriorate over the course of students’ education.

Method: Students conduct and write up a semi-structured interview of someone they know with chronic illness. They reflect on their experience in pairs, and then analyze sample encounters in small groups with faculty facilitation.

Outcome: Strongly favorable student feedback supports the value of eliciting a subjective account of illness in context and applying diagnostic logic after the fact.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access




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