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Open Book Project

A Narrative Medicine Program for Social Justice and Inclusion

We all have stories. Stories about our lives, our families, our illness, our profession. In medicine, stories offer a way to understand patients by offering a window into "the person that the disease has."

The Open Book Project is a three-semester elective at the Heritage College for first- and second-year students. Students who choose to participate in the Open Book Project elective will join a small group of fellow students and two facilitators weekly to examine a piece of narrative work (think: paintings, lyrics, poems, short stories, etc.) and engage in the practices of narrative medicine including close reading, radical listening and reflective writing. The sessions run 60-90 minutes in length and will require little preparation. Just come ready to be an active participant and “respectful and humble witness.”

Open Book Project Goals

  1. Learn what narrative medicine is and how to think narratively.
  2. Develop and practice skills of narrative medicine including close reading, radical listening, reflective writing.
  3. Explore different ideologies and worldviews using a narrative approach.
  4. Apply a narrative lens/framework to complex issues of social justice, inequities and disparities.
  5. Reflect on applying narrative approaches to interpersonal and clinical relationships.
Graphic for the Open Book Project, featuring an outline of an open book

For more information about enrolling in the Open Book Project elective series as a first-year student, please email the instructor of record, Sharon Casapulla, Ed.D., MPH, at

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