"Old age comes on suddenly, and not gradually as is thought." Emily Dickinson
Through literature, she learned how stories are built and told, and translated that to listening to, and better understanding, patients. She could let them tell their own stories without interruptions and see how people described their symptoms as part of the larger story of their life.
Dr. Charon was not the first to connect literature and medicine, but she has become the leading advocate of the emerging discipline known as narrative medicine, which aims to treat the whole person, not just the illness. The British Medical Journal and other professional publications have run articles on the approach, and medical schools have added writing seminars and reading groups.
Compelling reading. Will follow if I can and learn more