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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Open Letter to our Future Students in “Narrative and the Caring Professions”

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A group of nursing, social work, education, and English faculty worked together for a year to explore how literature experiences designed for medical education might enhance professional preparation in their fields and address their common dilemmas of caregiving. The resulting insights reveal the ways in which adaptations of narrative medicine models offer benefits for students in these “caring professions.” They also indicate the promise of interdisciplinary reading experiences among students from these fields and suggest how these frameworks might address their common challenges of burnout and erosion of empathy in early clinical experience. This “open letter” to future students who will participate in an interdisciplinary reading group describes the challenges facing the professions of nursing, social work, and education, and explores the ways that doing narrative work together will prepare students to meet them.




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