Obstetrics & Gynecology Study at Columbia University Medical Center

At Columbia University Medical Center, the Obstetrics & Gynecology department is studying Narrative Medicine teaching methods in introducing medical students to women’s freedom of reproductive choice.

Ob/gyn fellow Katherine Rivlin, MD designed a research project, duly approved by the Institutional Review Board of Columbia, to test the influence of Narrative Medicine training on the attitudes and behavior of medical students as they witness abortions on their gynecology clinical training. Rivlin seeks to discover whether priming medical students with reading and discussing a literary text related to reproduction and then coaching them in creative writing to a prompt in a Narrative Medicine seminar will influence their interviewing approach with pregnant patients. Specifically, she will see if the narrative training increases the likelihood that the student will provide non-directive and non-judgmental pregnancy options counseling in an examination using a standardized patient in an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Graduate of the Master of Science of Narrative Medicine program at Columbia Annie Robinson, MS consulted on the design and pedagogy of the narrative training.

The pilot workshops and OSCEs have been accomplished, and the first “real” workshop just got underway. Results will be shared with you when available.


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