Commentary: our heads touch: telling and listening to stories of self

Acad Med. 2012 Sep;87(9):1154-6. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182628d6f.


This commentary reflects on the first decade of the Teaching and Learning Moments (TLM) feature of Academic Medicine. The author places the feature within the context of a growing movement within health care to improve reflective practice through the practice of reflective writing and reading. As an example of the opportunity these reflective activities afford, the author depicts a seminar in which students and faculty from four health sciences schools learn together about culture, illness, and health care. The participants find that their own capacity to examine and write about aspects of their own lived experience contributes to their understanding of patients. The seminar has been a meaningful adventure for these students and clinicians, as the TLM feature has been for its authors and readers. Meeting on the grounds of stories of patients and of themselves, readers and writers demonstrate for themselves how their source of commitment to health is to be found very deep within the self. As a dividend, these moments of teaching and learning provide what is needed to become members of effective health care teams.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Empathy*
  • Faculty
  • Humans
  • Narration*
  • Periodicals as Topic
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Publishing
  • Students, Health Occupations
  • Writing*