NYU's LITMED: Literature Arts Medicine Database: A comprehensive list of books, short stories, poems, films, performance arts, and works of visual arts related to the medical and health humanities

Graphic Medicine: A website and blog looking at the role comics can play in the study and delivery of healthcare

Narrative Medicine Reading List: 500 books from Good Reads

Essays & Articles

“Creating a clearing” :  Lance Weiler, Founding Director of the Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab, sits down with Dr. Rita Charon, Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and the originator of the field of Narrative Medicine, for a discussion on the role of storytelling in providing care that is truly patient-centered.

"Narrative medicine may help stem doctor burnout": As reports of rising levels of physician burnout and suicide accumulate, two pediatricians urge medical programs to consider using “narrative medicine” to help humanize practice and begin to treat the heavy emotional toll many doctors experience. (Reuters Health)

"From doctors’ stories to doctors’ stories, and back again": Physicians who write even short, 55-word reflective stories can hold to humanistic and ethical understandings of patient care and of themselves as healers even as they practice in systematized settings and employ evidence-based expertise. (Marcia Day Childress, PhD)

"Narrative medicine: a model for empathy,reflection, profession, and trust": Physicians have to find ways to talk simply, honestly, and deeply with patients, families, other health care professionals, and citizens. (Dr. Rita Charon)

"To see the suffering": The author suggests that to see the suffering might be what the humanities in medicine are for, and that those who become capable of seeing the suffering around them in medical practice both experience the cost of countenancing the full burden of illness and death and, simultaneously, comprehend with clarity the worth of this thing, this life. (Rita Charon)

"At the Membranes of Care: Stories in Narrative Medicine": A clinical case is given to exemplify the consequences in practices of adopting the methods of narrative medicine. A metaphor of the activated cellular membrane is proposed as a figure for the effective clinician/patient contact. (Rita Charon)

"Narrative Medicine, Narrative Humility": Narrative Medicine teaches people how to listen. "What is deep listening? Sama is a greeting from the secret ones inside the heart, a letter. The branches of your intelligence grow new leaves in the wind of this listening." ~Rumi (Sayantani DasGupta)

"Why Doctors’ Stories Matter": Illness is an occasion for stories—it calls for stories—because illness disorders. Illness fractures the patterns that hold lives together. Telling stories is essential to creating new patterns, in which illness now has a place. (Arthur Frank)

Poetry & Memoir

13 Poems about Chronic Illness 

List of Medical Memoirs

Poems about Sickness, Illness & Recovery

On Being Podcast – ‘Experience Poetry’ and ‘Poetry Unbound’

Poem – ‘Kindness’ by Naomi Shihab Nye

Poems used in mindfulness-based stress reduction programs


Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine

Pulse Journal: Voices From the Heart of Medicine 

Ars Medica: A Journal of Medicine, The Arts & Humanities 

The Examined Life Journal, University of Iowa Carter School of Medicine

Literature and Medicine


Narrative Medicine Program, Columbia University 

Health, Arts & Humanities Program, University of Toronto 

Humanities Institute: University of Texas at Austin

The Institute for Poetic Medicine 


The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine by Charon, et al.

Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness by Charon, et al.

The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness and Ethics by Arthur Frank

Bringing Home the Health Humanities: Narrative Humility, Structural Competency, and Engaged Pedagogy by Rebecca K. Tseva et al.

The Paradox of Hope: Journeys through a Clinical Borderland by Cheryl Mattingly

Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write their Bodies edited by Sayatani DasGupta, Marsha Hurst

A History of the Present Illness: Stories by Louise Aronson

Narrative Gerontology in Research and Practice by Kate de Medeiros