What Is… History and Narrative?

Stories have been used to deliver information, to educate, and to entertain since time began. Stories in family medicine reflect the rich and varied experiences of family physicians who care for patients and illuminate the interaction connecting physicians and patients throughout life’s journey.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada’s History and Narrative in Family Medicine Committee works to record the history of family medicine in Canada through stories, while promoting the value of narrative and the humanities in family medicine. Stories and narratives are a reminder of the human element in family medicine, providing an opportunity for physicians to reflect on their experiences and serving as an expression of various themes and issues that evolve in practice. Physicians, residents, and other health care workers can identify with and learn from other physicians going through similar experiences.

The History and Narrative in Family Medicine Committee has developed the Stories in Family Medicine website, a searchable database housing stories by family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students. The database contains more than 200 stories and allows users to browse by theme or search by keyword or author.

These stories offer a unique portrayal of the experiences of family physicians in Canada in both the past and the present, and foster greater appreciation among medical students, residents, and other health care professionals of the important roles played by family medicine and family physicians in Canada. This website is an innovative resource that can be used as a teaching and research tool for those interested in conducting qualitative research on family medicine in Canada through narrative inquiry. Stories submitted by CFPC members are also eligible for the annual Associated Medical Services (AMS)–Mimi Divinsky Award.

Submit your story or browse the Stories in Family Medicine database today!

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