Bridging from Oral Tradition to Writing: The Art of Empathy
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Narrative medicine would not be as we know it today if it weren’t for a forerunner and a visionary talent such as Oliver Sacks. A man of many virtues and extraordinary accomplishments, perhaps known by most for his story inspiring the filmmaking success of Awakening rather than his philanthropic teachings and profound respect and curiosity for the happenings of mankind. He created narrative medicine before nominalists labelled this discipline driven by their innate need to attribute a name to everything and classify currents of thought and study, according to the logic evolution of science, from Aristotle to Linnaeus and so forth, up to our days with continuous creation of new specialties and hypo specialties. Indeed, whenever I am asked by students or colleagues to suggest resources and examples of narrative medicine, I cannot but turn them to the numerous writings of Oliver Sacks.
KeywordsNarrative medicine Oliver Sacks Medical teaching Empathy Intersubjectivity
- Bowman D, Greenhalgh, Tomlinson J. A narrative future for healthcare: conference report. http://centreformedicalhumanities.org/a-narrative-future-for-healthcare-conference-report-by-deborah-bowman-trisha-greenhalgh-and-jonathon-tomlinson/
- Foucault M (1963) Naissance de la Clinique. Edition Quadrige, Grands Texts, Presse Universitaire de FranceGoogle Scholar
- Sacks O (1997) The Island of the Colorblind. Vintage Books, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
- Sacks O (1985) The man who mistook his wife for a hat. Summit Books, New York, NYGoogle Scholar