Med Schools Use Stories for "Case Studies"

Video storytelling has proven to be a therapeutic tool for physicians as well as patients, particulary those dealing with life-threatening illnesses–and now stories are being used in medical schools as teaching tools. In today’s “Health Journal”,  The Wall Street Journal reports that medical schools are using the life stories of fictional characters to teach psychiatric analysis.

The story tool has proven so effective, the topic was a presentation at last month’s American Psyciatric Association’s conference. “It was much more fun that sitting in a didactic lecture,” said a chief resident at the Unversity of South Carolina School of Medicine, which delivered the presentation.

“Students in the mental-health disorder disciplines can sometimes learn as much about what it means to be human from studying popular films and novels as they can from sitting with a patient,” says Glen Gabbard, professor of psychiatry and psychoanalysis at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Gabbard uses movies in his optional monthly sessions with medical students because movies offer a wide array of conditions to diagnose, and movie characters don’t have the privacy concerns that real patients do.

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