Mindful Rounds, Narrative Medicine, House Calls, and Other Stories

  • Maureen RappaportEmail author


Personal, creative writing, as a process in “clinical mindfulness”, has been a practice I have engaged in for most of my professional life as doctor and educator in family medicine. The “rules” of my writing practice encouraged me to “go for the jugular”, to write what I did not want to write about, so my prose and poetry tends to be based on difficult emotions, conflicting perspectives, and vulnerability. Another crucial step in the practice, however, is in the reading of the narratives in a mindful, non-judgmental or literary way. Through the narratives, I illustrate these mindful writing and reading skills. This practice has been inspired by great teachers in the worlds of creative writing, reflective writing, narrative medicine, the medical humanities, medical education, and mindfulness-based meditation practice.


Narrative medicine Reflective writing Poetry and medicine House calls Death and dying 


  1. 1.
    Williams WC. The doctor stories. Compiled by Robert Coles. New York: New Directions; 1984.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Goldberg N. Writing down the bones. Boston: Shambhala; 1986.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Goldberg N. Wind mind: ling the writer’s life. New York: Bantam; 1990.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Epstein RM. Mindful practice. JAMA. 1999;282(9):833–39.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Charon R. Narrative medicine: honoring the stories of illness. New York: Oxford University Press; 2006.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Weston WW, Brown JB, Stewart MA. Patient centered interviewing Part I: understanding patients’ experiences. Can Fam Physician. 1989;35:147–51.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bolton G. Reflective practice. London: Paul Chapman; 2001.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Williams WC. Asphodel, that greeny flower (excerpt). New York: New Directions; 1962.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Connelly J. Being in the present moment: developing the capacity for mindfulness in medicine. Acad Med. 1999;74(4):420–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kabat-Zinn J. Wherever you go there you are. New York: Hyperion; 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineMcGill UniversityMontreal WestCanada

Personalised recommendations