Story Slam storytellers

By Michael Vitez

Our Feb. 26, 2019 story slam, our fifth at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, was our best ever. We had a great crowd in attendance, a wonderful and diverse group of storytellers, and 13 stories filled with honesty, vulnerability, hope and humanity! Something amazingly powerful happens when people get up and share like this. Lifts us all.

“The Slam was one of the greatest experiences of my professional career in 15 years at Temple,” said Manish Garg, M.D., an emergency department physician, who told a story titled “Brotherly Love,” about the death of his younger brother.

“Really pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it was an amazing experience,” said Dr. Edwin Acevedo, a third year resident in general surgery, whose story was titled, “Connected.”

One medical student in attendance wrote the next day: “I actually brought my Dad and he sent me the email below:

`Thanks for inviting me to the Slam. It was very interesting all on its own, but more important, I really enjoyed the glimpse into your world. It reminded me of your white coat ceremony when you were sworn into the medical profession. It was clear from listening to everyone that you all want to use your abilities to help people. It’s rare to see that sense of community and common purpose.’ ”

Nonye Acholonu, a fourth year medical student, shared a story about being a triplet, and her decision to become a pediatrician. Her story was titled “Superheroes.” Martha Concha, a medical interpreter, told a story about giving one patient in crisis a voice, and how that made all the difference in the world. Dr. Erin Narewski, a pulmonary and critical care physician, talked about the patient she will always remember every time she walks past room 201.

Each of the stories was five to seven minutes. The full video is embedded below, and here is a link to printed versions of four of the stories:

· Superheroes, Nonye Acholonu

· Becoming a Doctor, Bill Greenfield

· A Voice, Martha C. Concha

· Paper Airplanes and Easy Mac, Aron Stark

Stories from Temple’s Narrative Medicine Program

Led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Vitez, Temple’s Narrative Medicine Program focuses on the human side of medicine through a celebration of and emphasis on stories and storytelling.

Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

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Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. Exceptional students, clinicians and researchers with zeal for education, research and patient care.

Stories from Temple’s Narrative Medicine Program

Led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Vitez, Temple’s Narrative Medicine Program focuses on the human side of medicine through a celebration of and emphasis on stories and storytelling.

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