Narratives in Medical Education

The Problem

Narrative strategy is important for medical professionals because it allows them to better understand a patient's context in order to provide them better care.

Medical education places a huge emphasis on test taking and memorization. As a result, topics like narrative strategies aren't emphasized as much as they should be.

The Proposal

NA.M.E. is a series of interventions which prime students to use narrative strategies in practive. Each intervention is to be placed alongside the series of clinical rotations in medical school. The intervention is a limited animation of a clinical case study which addresses how narrative strategies are relevant to the specific rotation topic. The sample animation below would be placed before the clinical psych rotation. The case study is written by Dr. Bruce Perry and is about a traumatized child who grows up to be a cold, heartless killer.

We are our stories.
So let's teach our doctors how to understand them.

Suggested Direction

The suggested aesthetic and form direction is to use limited animation with stick figure drawings and minimal detail. The aesthetic draws from Scott McCloud's assertion that minimal detail allows for stronger emotional connection to content. Video is the suggested form as it is easy to access and is not cost or time prohibitive for medical students.

Research Process + Team

Through grounded research methods with all stakeholders involved in medical education, we developed a broader understanding of the context, environment, and gaps in the medical education system as a whole. Medical students co-designed prototypes with us to help us form the proposal to use a series of animated case studies.

Cat Schmitz (Design and Research), Safi Ali-Khan (Medical Testing Facilitator), Pat King (Animator), Anezka Sebek (Research and Production Advisor)