Initiating narrative medicine into dental education: Opportunity, change, and challenge

J Formos Med Assoc. 2021 Dec;120(12):2191-2194. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2021.06.008. Epub 2021 Jun 25.


Recently, the patient-centered and comprehensive dental treatment are emphasized as the same important competency as traditional clinical skill training in dental education. It is a silver lining to reorganize current dental education and redefine the role of dentistry to dentist, patient, and society. Narrative medicine has emerged as a variant from medical humanities and takes inspiration from philosophy, literature, poetry, art, ethics, and social sciences. Narrative medicine adds humanistic care with empathy and listening to patients in daily care. In this article, we introduce the definition of narrative medicine, the concept of narrative dentistry, implementation of narrative medicine into dental education, and challenges in initiating narrative dentistry. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, it also affords the opportunity to initiate narrative medicine into dental education, dentist could emerge to heal patient holistically, but not simply eliminate oral diseases.

Keywords: Dental education; Narrative dentistry; Narrative medicine.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Education, Dental
  • Humans
  • Narrative Medicine*
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2