TEAM NARRATIVE is a collective of educators across clinical and humanities disciplines at the University of Toronto who offer lectures and workshops on the role of working with stories in learning and health-related encounters.

The goal of this teaching is to improve reflective capacity, narrative competence, visual literacy and critical thinking, while emphasizing learner resilience and self-care.

TEAM NARRATIVE is a collaboration between the Health, Arts & Humanities Program and the MSPI (Mount Sinai Psychotherapy Institute). Sessions are available for learners from all disciplines and levels of training.


Allan Peterkin MD – TEAM NARRATIVE Leader

Mary Beattie PhD
Susan Belanger MLS
Suze Berkhout MD
Ronna Bloom MEd
Monica Branigan MD
Allison Crawford MD
Bill Gayner MSW
Karen Gold PhD, RSW
Julie Hann OT
Afarin Hosseini MD
Hartley Jafine MA
Rex Kay MD
Louise Kinross
Elysse Leonard MA
Dawn Lim MD
Sue Macrae RN, MEd
Nancy McNaughton PhD
Jessica Munro NP
Carol Nash PhD
Shane Neilson MD, PHD
LJ Nelles MFA
Aaron Orkin MD, MPH
Nick Pimlott MD
Jeremy Rezmovitz MD
Michael Roberts MD
Ron Ruskin MD
Tilda Shalof RN
Miriam Shuchman MD
Anne Simmonds RN, PhD
Eva-Marie Stern MA
Damian Tarnopolsky PhD
Paul Uy MD
Shelley Wall PhD
Dan Yashinsky

Introductory Lectures:

These can be scheduled as 45-minute talks with discussion time, or 1.5-to-3-hour workshops:

1)         A Humanities Toolkit Rounds (discussion of an image, poem, or film clip)

2)        An Introduction to Narrative-Based Medicine (close reading of a short story/poem and a reflective writing exercise)

Seminar Packages of three or more sessions:

3)         Visual Narrative (working with images and non-verbal cues)

4)         The Reflecting Poem: a writing workshop

5)         Ten Tips For Incorporating Narrative Competence Into A Busy Practice

6)          Narrative Medicine Workshop, Part Two: Deepening the Discussion

7)         Therapeutic Writing (using narrative with patients)

8)          Narrative As Advocacy/Disability Studies

9)          Narrative and Spirituality

10)       Situation Critical: Narratives of the ER and ICU

11)       Narrative In Palliative Care

12)       Narrative and Ageing

13)       The Patient Speaks (given by a person living with a chronic illness)

14)       Stories Matter: Narrative-based Ethics: Looking At Difficult Stories

15)       Narrative and Mindful Presence

16)       Stories and The Body: A Theater-Based Workshop on Physical Presence

17)       Using film clips to teach about the doctor-patient relationship and patient advocacy

18)       Using Narrative with Patient Self-Help Groups

19)       An Introduction to Graphic Medicine

20)       Narrative and Medical Error

21)       When Stories Collide: Narrative, Personal Values and Moral Distress

22)       Narratives From The News: Examining Media Representations of Medicine

23)       Approaches to Oral History

24)       Narratives of Loss and Trauma

25)       Finding A Research Topic Through Personal Narrative

26)       Narrative and Interprofessional Education/Team-Building

27)        Improv Theatre

28)        An Introduction to Narrative-based Balint Groups

29)        Narrative Research Methodologies

30)       “Troubling” Stories: Pitfalls, Risks and Ethical Quandaries with Narratives

31)        Rhetoric and Representation-Using Close Readings for Critical Analysis

32)       Storytelling Through Photography: Finding Connection in Medicine


Faculty Development In Close Reading of an Image and Text, Reflective Writing Techniques, Close Listening and Evaluation of Student Reflective Writing

Qualitative Research in Narrative Medicine

Supervision of an Ongoing Reflective Writing Group (for clinicians, teachers or patient groups)

Consultation on reflective portfolio course creation/implementation/evaluation at the undergrad/inter-professional/postgrad/CME level

Working With Difficult Stories: A Balint Group (6-8 sessions)

A Weekend Digital Storytelling Workshop For Students or Patients

To arrange these sessions and to discuss fees please contact:


MSPI Workshops in Therapeutic Writing With Patients/Narrative Competence Psychotherapy – this 2-Day Workshop is offered every 2 years

MSPI Certificate in Narrative-based Care (CPD) – next session June 2020

Finding Our Way Home: A family’s story of life, love, and loss: Nov 27, 2018 1-2:30 Lunch & Learn

PLEASE join us Tuesday November 27, 2018, 1:00 pm

Time: 1:00-2:30pm

Location: 6th floor, Boardroom A, PostMD Office, 500 University Avenue, Toronto

Topic: Finding Our Way Home: A family’s story of life, love, and loss

Speaker: Dr. Damon Dagnone, MD, FRCPC, MSc, MMEd

Send your rsvp to by Nov 21st  2018

The PGME office is pleased to invite residents, fellows, faculty and administrators to a Lunch & Learn with Dr. Damon Dagnone as he shares about his experiences with loss and recovery. He is an emergency medicine physician in Kingston and the CBME Lead for Queen’s University. Damon has shared about his experiences using both art and stories.

Damon will share from his recently published book called Finding Our Way Home: A family’s story of life, love, and loss. 

Damon says, “Losing my son to cancer has profoundly affected how I connect with people in the world and what kind of doctor I now strive to be. Callum’s journey reminds me that I need to continue walking my journey as he bravely did during his illness.” 

Damon will discuss how he, and his wife Tricia, found their way home after the illness and death of their 3-year-old, Callum, to cancer.

About the book:

We hope that you are able to join us.

Front cover_Finding our way home_D Dagnone Back cover_Finding our way home_D Dagnone

Call For Performances-PERFORMING PSYCHIATRY 2019

It’s Back!


Call for Submissions (deadline is Dec. 15th)

JANUARY 17TH, 2019,  Location: Innis College

Emcee:  Dr. David Goldbloom MD FRCPC

Celebrating our Department’s Creativity & Artistry

Calling all psychiatry residents, faculty, & hospital staff
to present live performances & visual art!

Performing Psychiatry celebrates the creativity, artistry, and talent in our students, residents, fellows and colleagues from all mental health disciplines within the Department of Psychiatry in an evening of multi-media exhibitions and performance.  Performance pieces (<10”) including music, theatre, dance, storytelling or readings and visual media submissions are invited.

Link for the Submission Form:

Return completed submissions forms to:

Telling Trauma Through Art Workshops

This 3-part seminar series offers a combination of discussion + case presentation + experiential reflection about psychological trauma and its treatment. Participants explore the ways images illuminate states of mind related to trauma – and how images also serve as a means for trauma’s transformation.

Why use art to learn about trauma?
Trauma can be seen as the unspeakable that demands expression and will take it in many non-verbal forms. Secrets and silence are its idiom. In treating trauma, psychodynamic therapy greatly benefits from fluency in the world of images. The mind’s use of images in grasping, organising and resolving trauma is constant, creative and effective — whether or not these pictures are ever made visible. Images are the media of post-traumatic re-experiencing, avoidance, and intrusion. How we understand and respond to these images — whether in visual art, metaphors, body markings, dreams or flashbacks — significantly affects the process and outcome of therapy.
• a guided practice of looking at images made in and out of therapy
• participants’ own image-making, and
• conversation about the echoes between visual marks and states of mind that create them
Learners will:
• better grasp the languages of distress, the possible meanings of non-verbal expression, and explore ways of attending to what can’t yet be said in therapy
• learn about uses of visual art in therapy
• learn about a clinically helpful way of looking at art
• experience self-reflection via art-making.
Eva-Marie Stern, RP, MA, Assistant Professor Dept of Psychiatry, U of T is an art therapist and psychotherapist. She co-founded WRAP in 1998 and practices, teaches and supervises within Women’s College Hospital’s Trauma Therapy Program. Her chapter, co-authored with Shelley Wall, “The Visible Curriculum” appears in Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education (Peterkin & Skorzewska, Eds, Oxford University Press, 2018) expands on how looking at and making art vitalize learning in medicine.
Time and place:
Wednesdays January 9, 16, 23, 2019 from 6:30pm-8:00pm
Women’s College Hospital, 7th floor
Open to all Residents, Medical Students, and Learners from other mental health disciplines on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no cost for participation, but enrollment is required, and attendance is expected at ALL three seminar/workshops. Although art-making will happen, no experience is necessary.
For more information and to sign up, please contact:
Sponsored by the office of Post-MD Education and The Program in Health, Arts and Humanities

Deepening Narrative Competence – Part Two CFD

The Centre for Faculty Development (CFD), The Program In Health Arts and Humanities and the University of Toronto Postgraduate Medical Education and Continuous Professional Development are excited to announce the launch of a new, advanced program:

Deepening Narrative Competence – Part Two with Damian Tarnopolsky!

We’ve attached a detailed description to this email. Registration closes on December 7, 2018. For more information and to register, please visit:

This program aims to meet the needs of healthcare practitioners already working with narrative medicine approaches in their clinical or pedagogic practice, and/or writing for themselves and looking for further mentorship and support.

“Deepening Narrative Competence – Part Two” seeks to enhance students’ theoretical knowledge of and practical engagement with the tools of narrative medicine. The course will begin by introducing the basic elements of literary and reflective practice and the essentials of close reading. These will be applied with greater depth as the workshop goes on, introducing more specialized writing and reading techniques, as well as editing, rewriting, and modes of publication.

We will read a selection of published works relating to health and the body, and share work written by participants in-between classes, all with the aim of honing and focusing our skills of observation, creation, and reception. Throughout, participants will be guided in discussion on the aims and practice of narrative medicine, and encouraged to find ways to apply its lessons in their own daily work, while understanding and respecting the ethical questions the work raises.

Guest speakers will visit the workshop to offer theoretical/practical/creative perspectives. This program will require in-between-session homework/readings.

Registration is now open until Dec 7th. There is an associated registration fee of $700. A maximum of 15 participants will be accepted into the program on a first come, first served basis.

We hope that your team will be able to send some representatives to this exciting learning opportunity!

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns, and otherwise please spread the word widely.

With many thanks,


Farah Friesen, MI

Education Knowledge Broker & Program Coordinator

Centre for Faculty Development

Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto at St. Michael’s Hospital

Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre

30 Bond Street, LKSKI Building, 4th Floor

Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1W8

T: 416-864-6060 ext. 77416

Jane Mappin Danse (Montreal) – mental health themes

From dancer Jane Mappin

Please share this with friends and colleagues:

“I am presenting an evening of dance on the delicate subject of mental health. It is the final performance for my collaborator Daniel Firth and I…our “retirement show”.

The evening is the culmination of more than five years of working together.

The final piece involves seven dancers with mental health and physical challenges, a love of dance, and a lot go courage to share themselves with the audience. The work is about resilience.

Please share this with any friends and colleagues that may be interested.

I am doing all the promotion myself, and need to fill the theatre!

That said, and intimate space is ideal for this kind of work.

The theatre only seats 80, so if you decide to come, I suggest you reserve seats. The link for tickets is:

I hope you can join us!!

All the best, Jane”





Cinema Medica Screening on Opioid Crisis-November 27

East Hastings Pharmacy: Film Screening and Interactive Panel Discussion

Join us for a panel discussion and screening of East Hastings Pharmacy (2012), which pertains to the opioid crisis in Canada. The screening (approximately 60 mins) will be followed by a panel discussion about the film, the opioid crisis, and the meaning of harm reduction, featuring the filmmaker and clinical experts in the topic (details TBD).

RSVP (free!) here:

Film synopsis
A blend of documentary and fiction, this film chronicles a typical pharmacy of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside, where most clients are on a treatment that requires taking daily doses of methadone witnessed by the pharmacist. East Hastings Pharmacy is a site of rituals and repeated interactions where quiet routine and confrontation follow each other in one continuous movement.

This event is happening on November 27, 2018, at 6pm, at 500 University Ave., Room 140. Admission is free, and there will be refreshments and snacks!

RSVP here:

Call for Papers – Creating Space IX

Call for Papers : Creating Space IX CFP CREATING SPACE IX – The Canadian Association For Health Humanities (WWW.CAHH.CA)


APRIL 12-13, 2019

David Braley Health Science Centre, Hamilton ON

Keywords: Health and Health Care; History of Science, Medicine, and Technology; Humanities; Literature; Public Health

Theme: Cultural Humility and Contemporary Medical Practice: (How) Can the Humanities Help?

The British Columbia First Nations Health Authority reminds us that “cultural humility involves humbling acknowledging oneself as a learner when it comes to understanding another’s experience.” The commitment to active engagement, reflective practice, and lifelong learning has the potential to redefine the outcomes of culturally-focused physician training, rebalance the power dynamics between physicians and patients, and to influence the quality of healthcare provided to a variety of communities, including Indigenous peoples, new Canadians and refugees, and those from a variety of diaspora.

The Creating Space moniker evokes several meanings. It creates space for the humanities in health care. It also reflects the creative approaches at the heart of the humanities. With thousands of papers now generated on the multi-dimensional process of cultural humility in the medical and allied health literature, we now also recognize the way in which the conference’s name inspires us to also consider how the humanities help us create space for each other. To this end, Creating Space IX seeks to answer this question:

How can humanities-based methodologies assist health professional learners and practitioners to develop cultural humility?

In doing so, we invite papers and panel presentations that address the following topics:

1) Cultural humility in Canadian and international medical/allied health practice with regards to racial, sexual, gender, religious, and disability identities.

2) Health humanities methods to inculcate the process of cultural humility (i.e., narrative, improvisational theatre, music, art, digital engagement, etc.)

3) The suitability of the humaniites for meeting the special challenges that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presents for practicing with cultural humility with respect to Indigenous populations.

4) Special challenges for cultural humility with respect to immigrant and refugee populations.

5) Cultural humility within normative culture.

6) How can a scholarly humanities approach inform, assist, and radically transform contemporary Canadian health humanities pedagogy?

7) The suitability of humanities-based methodologies for transitioning practitioners from outcome-based thinking to process-based thinking.

The Creating Space conference has always been open to exciting off-topic work that does not strictly adhere to theme. Accordingly, we also invite submissions in an open format but advise that the number of spaces allotted to off-topic contributions will be limited.

Target Audience:

CSIX seeks to include scholars, educations, artists and practitioners whose work involves in the intersection of the arts, humanities, and social science (AHSS) disciplines and health professions.

Learning Objectives:

1. To provide a space to explore, contemplate, and consider the meaning of “cultural humility”.

2. Explore how humanities-based methodologies can inform our understanding of cultural humility.

3. To enable attendees to foster and encourage the adoption of non-biomedical techniques in medical education.

4. To give attendees the means with which to form partnerships with medical and humanities communities in their individual environments.

Types of proposals:

Recognizing the emerging role of AHSS approaches and interdisciplinary scholarship, Creating Space IXoffers authors the opportunity to display creatively their research and educational achievements, experiences and thoughts.

Abstracts may be presented in the form of:

· Research presentation: 20 minutes (15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions)

· Novel humanities educational experiences: 20 minutes (15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions)

· Panel presentation: 45 minutes ( 30 minutes plus 15 minutes for questions)

· Workshop: 90 minutes (maximum of 25% didactic teaching).

· Pecha Kucha: 20 slides with 20 seconds each slide

· Performance: 30 minutes

· Poster/display presentations

Proposal Guidelines: Please use the abstract submission form (or go to to submit your abstract. Absracts no longer than 300 words (not including works cited).

Deadline for submission : Proposals are due no later than midnight (EST) January 15, 2019.

To Submit a Proposal : All proposals must be submitted to the following address:

*Acceptance of proposals will be confirmed in early February, 2019.

PLEASE NOTE: We are excited to announce a peer-reviewed submission process for conference papers will be established after CSIX concludes. Submitted papers may be published in a special CSIX proceedings section of The Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Conference Registration to open early in 2019.


Accessibility Information: Creating Space is dedicated to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities. We are committed to meeting our current and ongoing obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code respecting non-discrimination. Creating Space understands that obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and its accessibility standards do not substitute or limit its obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code or obligations to people with disabilities under any other law. Creating Space is committed to complying with both the Ontario Human Rights Code and the AODA. People with disabilities are invited to use their personal assistive devices when accessing our goods, services or facililites. We welcome people with disabilities and their service animals. Service animals are allowed on the parts of our premises that are open to the public. If a person with a disability is accompanied by a support person, a fee/fare will not be charged for support persons. The David Braley Health Sciences Centre is a fully accessible space with accessible bathrooms, and elevators, and is on a bus route.

The Creating Space conference is part of work done by the recently established Canadian Association of Health Humanities –CAHH– (

By attending Creating Space and becoming a member of CAHH, you are joining and supporting a growing national and international movement focused on increasing understandings and practices about 1) how the humanties can inform health and wellness and, 2) ways health scholarship dialogues with humanties knowledge.


Lewis M, Prunuske A. “The Development of an Indigenous Health Curriculum for Medical Students.” Acad Med. 2017 May;92(5):641-648.

Marcum JA. “The epistemically virtuous clinician.” Theor Med Bioeth. 2009; 30 (3):260.

Schwab A “Epistemic Humility and Medical Practice: Translating Epistemic Categories into Ethical Obligations.”Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 2012; 37: 28–48.

Stone JR. “Cultivating Humility and Diagnostic Openness in Clinical Judgement.” AMA J Ethics.2017; 19 (10):970-977.

Tervalon M, Murray-García J. “Cultural humility versus cultural competence: a critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education.” J Health Care Poor Underserved. 1998; 9 (2):117-125.

Wear D. “Insurgent multiculturalism: rethinking how and why we teach culture in medical education.” Acad Med. 2003; 78 (6):549-554.

On the Properties of Things: Collective Knowledge and the Objects of the Museum (25-26 October, Ryerson)

Please find attached a poster for a conference/event, “On the Properties of Things: Collective Knowledge and the Objects of the Museum,” which will take place at Ryerson on 25-26 October.

Details and registration are available through the conference website:

Catherine Ellis, DPhil
Chair | Associate Professor
Department of History
Ryerson University
Ext. 6153 |
Massey Ryerson Visiting Scholar 2017-18

Medical Humanities Education Matching Funding Grant – Deadline – Oct 22

Dear Colleagues,

The deadline has been extended for submission of nominations for the Medical Humanities Education Matching Funding Grant.

Please ensure your nomination package is submitted in a PDF format to by October 22, 2018.


Professor Department of Anesthesia and Vice Dean
Post MD Education – Postgraduate Medical Education & Continuing Professional Development
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dear Colleagues,

As previously announced, Post MD Education has introduced the Medical Humanities Education Matching Funding Grant in the amount of $5,000 per project proposal, distributed on a semi-annual basis. The first (inaugural) call went out in January 2017 and grants were awarded in June 2017, December 2017 and June 2018.

I am writing to announce the call for the fall 2018 submissions. The submission deadline is October 22, 2018 with grants awarded to the successful applicants at the end of November.

The integration of humanities in medical education curricula has the potential to improve observation skills, self-reflection, and enhance learner competencies in the CanMEDS roles. Projects and proposals may reflect a variety of curricular designs which identify how medical humanities will be integrated into curricula and further enhance CanMEDS competencies.

Each proposal will require a matching funding commitment from the submitting department/division, i.e., if the project budget is $4,500 – a letter from the department chair committing to $2,250 is required. Funding will be provided for a one year period, and applicants must agree to submit a project report at end of the period.

Post MD Education will transfer the awarded funds to the successful applicant’s Academic Department in the Faculty of Medicine. Business Managers will provide Financial Information Services (FIS) account numbers to facilitate this transfer within 4 weeks of application approval or the funding offer will be withdrawn. The Academic Department will be responsible for the disbursement of funds to the successful applicant.

Attached is further background on the purpose of the grant as well as a template for the application. Please distribute widely.

[Download attachment]

We look forward to receiving applications for the Medical Humanities Education Grant by October 22, 2018.

Please submit your package by email to Arlene McKinley at


Professor, Department of Anesthesia and
Vice Dean, Post MD Education – Postgraduate Medical Education & Continuing Professional Development
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto