AMSA National Book Discussion Webinars: Online Storytelling with Physician-Authors Katherine D. Ellington, Medical Student St. George’s University, School of Medicine, Grenada, West IndiesAbstract • The newly created AMSA National Book Discussion Webinar series presents exemplars, who enable empathic care in the practice of medicine by offering Conclusion meaningful stories from their experiences, imaginations and mindsets.A review of a newly created national book discussion webinar series to engage an The AMSA Book Discussion Webinar series offers students a unique opportunity to • Ultimately, these stories provide practical and valuable lessons in the intersectionsaudience of physicians-in-training in stories about medicine. of illness, disease, cure, and healing for clinicians, practitioners, patients, teachers, learn about 1) the practice of medicine, 2) the lives of physicians, and 3) diversity in and students, the field of medicine from the stories told by physician-authors and with close reading of their work. Valuable lessons in personal and professional development emerge • A diverse group of physicians discuss their books, writing pursuits, workIntroduction experiences and lives. from these interactive sessions. This cost-effective, time-saving and innovative use of webinar technology creates a shared experience and extends the reach of traditional • Lessons in patient-physician relationships and communication, professionalism, asLaunched in February 2009 the AMSA National Book Discussion Webinars is a live, learning tools and strategies. well as bioethical competence can be explored.online, interactive national book discussion series with physician-authors developed • Participants have an opportunity to listen to a physcian’s storytelling to inform theirfor premedical and medical students, interns, residents and post MD/DO trainees. Power remains in the basic skills of attentive listening, understanding in the making of doctors.Webinar sessions offer a real-time, online, shared community experience amongparticipants, who watch and listen together with a presenter and host. close reading and reflexive writing. Table 1. 2009 AMSA National Book Discussion Webinars ScheduleMethods ReferencesA webinar is an interactive web-based seminar, presentation, lecture or workshop that 1. Bergman, Stephen. The Spirit of the Place. Kent: Kent State University Press;2008. 2. Shem S. Fiction as resistance. Ann Intern Med. 2002;137:934-7.takes place via internet with an audio- and video- enabled computer. A key feature of 3. Jauhar, Sandeep. Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation. New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux;2009.a webinar (see Figure 1 below) is its interactivity — the ability to share, receive and 4. Jauhar S. The demise of the physical exam. N Engl J Med. 2006;354(6):548-51. 5. Transue, Emily. Patient by Patient: Lessons in Love, Loss Hope and Healing from a Doctor’s Practice. Newdiscuss information between the host, presenter and among the audience of York: St. Martin’s Press;2008.participants. Web conferencing technology allows for VoIP (Voice over Internet 6. Transue E. What I have seen. N Engl J Med. 2006;354:548-51 7. Grimes, Jill. Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STDS. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UniversityProtocol) participation for a complete online experience. Press;2008. 8. Grimes, Jill. The 5-Minute Consult. Philadelphia: Lipppincott Williams & Wilkins;2009. 9. Hamilton, Allan. The Scalpel and the Soul. New York: Penguin Press;2009. 10. Hamilton, A. The spiritual struggle behind grey’s anatomy. Washington Post, May 13, 2009. 11. Verghese, Abraham. Cutting for Stone. New York: Alfred A Knopf; 2009 12. Verghese A. Culture shock – patient as icon, icon as patient. N Engl J Med. 2008;359:2748-5. 13. Peterkin, Allan. Staying Human during Residency Training: How to Survive and Thrive After Medical School. Toronto: University of Toronto Press; 2008. 14. Peterkin A. The burden of silence the need to tell. CMAJ. 1991;144:233–234. 15. Ofri, Danielle. Singular Intimacies: Becoming a Doctor at Bellevue. Boston: Beacon Press;2009. 16. Ofri D. Residency regulations – resisting our reflexes. N Engl J Med. 2004;35:1824-6. 17. Young, Audrey. The House of Hope and Fear: Life in a Big City Hospital. Seattle: Sasquatch Books;2009. Results 18. 19. Young A. A piece of my mind. The hospitalist’s story. JAMA. 2006;296:2067-8. Watts, David. The Orange Wire Problem And Other Tales From The Doctor’s Office. Iowa: University of There have been over 450 registered participants in the AMSA Book Discussion Iowa Press;2009. 20. Watts D. Facts and lies. Bellevue Literary Review. 2009;122-3. Webinars with 16 physician-author presenters since inception in February 2009 21. Klass, Perri. The Mercy Rule: A Novel. New York: First Mariner Books;2009. through December 2009. Total participation also includes 200 participants in 22. Klass P. The moral of the story. N Engl J Med. 2008;358:2313-2316. 23. Dean, Howard. Dean’s Prescription for Real Health Reform. White River, VT: Chelsea Publishing; 2009. September 2009 for the webinar session with Gov. Howard Dean with 13 AMSA 24. Baruch, Jay. Fourteen Stories: Doctors, Patients, and Other Strangers. Kent: Kent University Press;2007. chapters hosting local viewing sessions from every AMSA region across the country. 25. Baruch J. The story always comes first. NYU Literature, Arts and Medicine Blog. Available at: http:// medhum.med.nyu.edu/blog/?p=146. Accessed August 1, 2009. Figure 1. Screenshot of webinar session with Dr. Katrina Firlik via WebEx. Overall participation (see Figure 2 below) included 139 premedical (31%) and 234 26. Mullan, Fitzhugh. Narrative Matters: The Power of the Personal Essay in Health Policy. Baltimore: Johns medical students (52%), 23 interns and residents (5%), 23 physicians (5%) and 9 Hopkins Press;2006. others (2%) nationally from every AMSA region and internationally. Approximately 2 27. Stewart, J. ed. Story-based health policy: An Interview with Fitzhugh Mullan, MD. The Permanente Journal. 2007;11:76-78.The AMSA National Book Discussion Webinars offer a shared- community experience to 3 AMSA chapters and small groups host local viewing sessions during each 28. Firlik, Katrina. Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside. New York: webinar. Furthermore, sessions have also included co-hosts and/or special guests to Random House;2007.between physician-authors and participants via the internet to encourage reading 29. Klingensmith M, Firlik K. The ethical dilemma of duty-hour reporting. Virtual Mentor. 2009;11: 835-841 enrich the program experience. Feedback and audience surveys indicate positivebeyond the medical school curriculum for professional and personal development. 30. Chen, Pauline. Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality. New York: Random House;2007. experiences with participants.. 31. Chen, Pauline. Doctor and Patient: Primary Care’s Image Problem. The New York Times, November 12,The group of physician-authors selected represent a cross-section of backgrounds as 2009. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/health/12chen.html. Accessed November 16, 2009.well as experiences and have published books and articles, which were chosenbased on relevant themes to engage the AMSA community. The 2009 schedule ofphysician-author/presenters (see Table 1) along with selected book titles and 31%articles1-31 was planned tentatively. Times and dates have been set to accommodate MED STU Acknowledgementstimes zones for a national audience as well as medical student and physician INTRN & RES PHY AMSA staff and leadership have provided support for the development and implementation of this effort. My time as DSPschedules. 52% MED HUM Intern provided time and creative space at AMSA National Headquarters. Physician-authors have been generous in giving Other their time helping to create this rich experience and the enthusiasm of student participation is priceless. PMED STU 5%During the webinar session all registered online participants have the opportunity to 2% 5% I have studied with Dr. Rita Charon, Founder and Director of The Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University 5% Medical Center and Dr. David Watts, Founder and Director of Writing the Medical Experience at Sara Lawrence Collegewatch, listen, use text chat, ask questions and have a discussion with the physician- (now in the West) whose teaching and mentoring have nourished my writing life in medicine.author/presenter and host (see Figure 1. above). The hour-long program formatincludes ample time for questions and discussions either via chat or live via VoIP. Figure 2. Audience participation breakdown for the 2009 AMSA National Book Discussion Webinars. MED STU = Medical Students,The 2009 AMSA National Book Webinar series had over INTRN & RES = Interns and Residents, MED HUM = Medical Humanties Scholars, PMED = Premedical Students and Other = others in the AMSA community.450 participants.