This course offers an opportunity for intensive reading of literature, discussion, and reflective writing on the topics of professionalism/cross cultural competency/humanism, physician patient relationships, and the process of students’ professional development.

Training in narrative competence may contribute to the development of a patient-centered approach to physician patient communication in which empathy, humanism, cross cultural competency and professionalism must be demonstrated. In all of these, the ability to interpret, understand and act on the stories and suffering of others’ is inherent.


  • What are the students expected learning outcomes?
    The purpose of this project is to help medical students develop skills in narrative competence to promote reflection on communication in the physician patient relationship.
  • The specific narrative skills to be taught are:
    1) Identification of Narrator’s Intention
    2) Interpretation of Meaning of Causality in Plot
    3) Identifying and Understanding Point of View
  • Additionally students will have an enhanced capacity for reflection about the physician patient encounter with attention to their own reactions and behaviors regarding professionalism, humanism, and cross cultural communication.



  • Develop skills in narrative competence to enhance physician patient communication.
  • Recognize the way in which the study of texts can be used to develop skills in narrative competence as demonstrated in class discussion and reflective writing.
  • Demonstrate that reflective writing and reading of narrative can enhance their ability to interpret and understand the patient’s story.


Learning activities could include the following: Class discussion, reading in and outside of class, reflective writing, in-class play reading, film viewing, paper presentation


Students will be evaluated by the faculty member for their in-class discussion participation, preparation of assigned readings, writing assignments, in-class play reading preparation, and final paper presentation.
Monday of the second week, students will be given one on one feedback with the faculty leader.

Required Reading:

All of the texts that are required reading can be obtained either via library loan or links and pdfs provided.

Administrative Information

Program number: ELEC 510
Location: UIC Department of Medical Education
Program Director: Susan Arjmand, MD, MHPE
Telephone:  312-983-0579 (Cell)
Email: [email protected]
Duration: 2 weeks
Night call: Evenings (5-9pm)
Weekends: No
Students accepted:  Minimum: 4 – Maximum: 12
Lectures/Conferences/Faculty hours per week: 16 (4 hours 4 days per week)
Independent Study Hours per week: 24
Total hour week: 40


Updated: 4/29/21