AIRWAY’s Mert Erogul and Josh Schiller traveled to Boston Massachusetts for the 2016 International Conference of Physician Health, an event co-sponsored by the American Medical Association, Canadian Medical Association, and British Medical Association. They gave an oral abstract presentation entitled “Physician Storytelling Forum,” which described the development and initial implementation of AIRWAY in New York City.
An excerpt from the conclusions:
“The stories we tell about our work convey our attitudes and values from the common culture of our field. We tell stories to explain and understand what has happened to us, and in listening to stories, we absorb their assumptions and their inherent messages. Stories can reveal and perpetuate the attitudes of cynicism and self-preservation that constitute the hidden curriculum of medicine, or can be a vehicle for inspiration and professional self-renewal. Careful attention to the messages of stories is a valuable opportunity for self-reflection and moral growth. Telling and listening to stories about traumatic events can be potentially therapeutic. Hearing our common experiences reflected in other people’s stories eases the isolation of medical training and the imposter syndrome that is common among residents. All of these proposed benefits theoretically support wellness, increase resilience, and improve our ability to cope with the stresses of training and medical practice. Formalized storytelling is a unique opportunity to get practitioners together in a social setting in which they not only enjoy themselves, but engage in reflection and leave with a heightened experience of their practice.”