“Many people know nothing about us”: narrative medicine applications at a student-run free clinic

Marvin So, Emma Sedarski, Megan Parries, Brian Sick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Narrative medicine is an approach to healthcare that acknowledges the stories of patients’ lives both within and beyond the clinical setting. Narrative medicine has been increasingly recognized as a promising tool to support modern educational needs in health professions training, such as interprofessional practice, while enhancing quality of care. Here, we describe the development, implementation, and application of a narrative medicine program at the University of Minnesota Phillips Neighborhood Clinic. First, in a qualitative analysis of patient stories (n = 12) we identified themes regarding the value of the storytelling experience; patients’ personal journeys; and patients’ experiences in healthcare and other systems. Second, an interprofessional educational activity for student volunteers (n = 57) leveraging a patient narrative was observed to be satisfactory, significantly improve attitudes toward the underserved, and enhance quality of care from the perspectives of trainees. Together, findings from the two studies imply the potential benefits of broader incorporation of narrative medicine into interprofessional service settings, for both learners and patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1018-1026
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of interprofessional care
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • health and social care
  • interprofessional practice
  • mixed methods
  • narrative medicine
  • student-run free clinic
  • underserved communities

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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