Narrative Medicine


The present CU aims primarily at providing advanced training on the importance of narratives and communication, their role, as well as their limits, in the clinical encounter, by means of an interdisciplinary approach and with a view to therapeutic practices that are ethically aware.  The course is aimed both at students, researchers and professionals in healthcare and at students and researchers in the Humanities. One of its primary objectives is the acquisition of information concerning the novel concept of Narrative Medicine (NM) and its methods (Charon 2006; Hurwitz 2011). It also aims at developing in students (especially those in health care) communication strategies and self-awareness as facilitating tools for their practice. The target public is students coming from the following institutions of Ulisboa: FLUL, FMUL and ESEL and from FCM – UNova Lisboa (attending it as Post-graduate Course), and health care professionals or other type of professionals (attending it as Free Course).

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof.ª Doutora Isabel Fernandes


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





ATTRIDGE, Derek. The Singularity of Literature. London and New York: Routledge, 2004.

CAREL, Havi, Illness: The Cry of the Flesh, Durham: Acumen, 2008.

CASSEL, E.J. The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004. (2nd ed)

CHARON, R. Narrative Medicine. Honoring the Stories of Illness. Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press, 2006.

ENGEL, John D., Joseph Zarconi, Lura L. Pethtel, Sally A. Missimi. Narrative in Health Care: Healing Patients, Practitioners, Profession, and... Oxford: Radcliff Publishing, 2008.

FELDMAN, M.D., CHRISTENSEN, J.F. (Eds.) Behavioural Medicine. A Guide for Clinical Practice. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2008 (3rd ed).

FERNANDES, I. et al. Contar (com) a Medicina. Lisboa: Edições Pedago, 2015.

FOUCAULT, M. (1977 [1985]) Microfísica do Poder (tradução por Roberto Machado). Graal: São Paulo.

FRANK, Arthur W. (1995) The Wounded Storyteller. Chicago: The Univ. of Chicago Press, 2013.

HELL, D., Soul hunger. The feeling human being and the life sciences. Einsiedeln: Daimon Verlag, 2010.

JURECIC, Ann, Ilness as Narrative, Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh UP, 2012.

ROCHA, Clara. A caneta que escreve e a que prescreve. Lisboa: Babel, 2011.

RUDNYTSKY, PL Charon, R. Psychoanalysis and Narrative Medicine. Albany. NY: State Univ. of New York Press, 2008.

ZANER, Richard. Ethics and the clinical encounter. Michigan: Prentice Hall, 1988.


Teaching method

·         Classes will include both lectures and tutorials.

Evaluation method

Assessment methods: each student has to do a brief written assignment at the end of each module (concerning its learning contents), which is subjected to quantitative evaluation (30%). S/he also writes a final written assignment of about 15 pp for one of the modules of his/er choice, which is subjected to quantitative evaluation (70%). This enables the student to both assimilate the core concepts and information of each module and to deepen the areas of his/er own interest.  

Performance - criteria

                Students who miss more than 5 sessions, will automatically fail the course. This evaluation will be done by the Tutor and aims to classify:      

                1. attendance and punctuality

                2. assimilation of core concepts

                3. ability to critically reflect on the communicative and ethical issues raised in each module

                4. motivation and interest in professional development

·         attendance of every session is expected.

Subject matter

This is the 1St interdisciplinary Seminar in NM in Portugal. It involves teachers coming from various research and academic institutions, all team members of the project Narrative & Medicine. It aims at promoting advanced training in this new area for medical and other students, and health care professionals.


Mod. 1 – Literature (weeks 1 and 2)

Mod. 2 – Narrative and communication (weeks 3 and 4)

Mod. 3 – Philosophy (weeks 5 and 6)

Mod. 4 – Nursing (weeks 7 and 8)

Mod. 5 – Medicine (weeks 9 and 10)

Mod. 6 – Ethics (weeks 11 and 12)

Mod. 7 – Sociology (weeks 13 and 14)



Programs where the course is taught: