Author Archives: k.gold@sympatico.ca

“Tell it slant:” poetic musings on identity

I hated labels anyway. People didn’t fit in slots–prostitute, housewife, saint–like sorting the mail. We were so mutable, fluid with fear and desire, ideals and angles, changeable as water.  Janet Fitch, White Oleander The acclaimed poem, Where I’m From, by … Continue reading

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One story begets another: personal narratives by a father and daughter

I have been preparing a presentation for an upcoming conference on the medical humanities essay A Patient Examines his Doctor by literary critic and writer Anatole Broyard. While working on my dissertation a few years ago, Broyard’s writings on illness … Continue reading

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“How Are You?” Personal Reflections on a Healthcare Visit

While working on my PhD dissertation a few years ago I became intrigued by the idea of liminality. In cultural anthropology, liminality (from the Latin līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is the ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the in-between or … Continue reading

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A Kindness Curriculum for Healthcare Providers?

I’ve spent the last few weeks working on a grant proposal to support compassion in healthcare. I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about compassion – both what it looks like and how to teach it. I’ve also been musing … Continue reading

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“Sock Drawer Stories” – PTSD and Frontline Providers

Brian Goldman is a veteran ER physician who hosts a weekly show on CBC Radio called White Coat, Black Art. During each episode, he describes — and illuminates — the health care system from “my side of the gurney.” A … Continue reading

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Improvisation in Practice – lessons from music class?

This past year I participated in a weekly class called The Art & Practice of Relational Improvisation: a drumming journey into the wild and beautiful unknown facilitated by drumming teacher and expressive arts therapist Shara Claire. During our small group … Continue reading

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Lessons on empathy from a medical actor

Empathy is a lot more nuanced and complex than people sometimes assume. There are many theories about what empathy is, what it looks like and how to foster it. Brené Brown’s work on empathy, including the The Power of Empathy … Continue reading

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Writing and the body: what’s the connection?

In 1667, when philosopher Baruch Spinoza proclaimed “no one has yet determined what the body can do,” he was, perhaps, heralding recent attention to the body in social science, education and therapy practices. The critical issue for these fields is … Continue reading

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‘Listening with our pens’

One of my virtual mentors in the field of narrative medicine is Sayantani DasGupta. I’ve never met her, but her work has shaped my thinking about the critical role of narrative in healthcare. DasGupta is interested in the role of … Continue reading

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Welcome to my blog

This blog is an exploration of narrative approaches to healthcare, social work, teaching and social science inquiry. My name is Karen Gold and I am a social worker, educator, and narrative medicine facilitator. I have been working in healthcare as … Continue reading

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