The exercise of writing and listening as instruments for improving clinical practice


  • Daniele Santos Andrade
  • Liz Torres Pedreira
  • Vitoria da Silva Costa Machado Milheiro
  • Yasmin Vidal Matos



Doctor-patient relationship. Humanities. Literature. Arts. Health teaching. Medical Education. Communication. Narrative Medicine.


INTRODUCTION: The exercise of writing and listening contribute to medical practice in a unique way. The receipt of the patient's history is given by attentive listening that, for this, needs to be trained. Thus, writing is a primary tool in this process. Medicine today takes on an increasingly technical nature. DISCUSSION: The approach of Medicine and the human sciences, which for some, seems to be irreconcilable, gains space in Rita Charon's Narrative Medicine, through this cyclical and inexhaustible exercise of writing and listening more attentively and insightfully to the patient's behaviors of speaking or even to keep silent. As soon as one learns what was heard, writing comes as a dialogue with yourself to understand in greater depth what we have just experienced. Entering this complex storyline of the patient, through imagination, opens the way to develop empathy with the sender and opens space for the doctor to reflect on what he experiences. It is essential to have a theoretical and literary arsenal to connect with the patient's experiences and social place. CONCLUSION: Medicine isn´t science itself, so it presupposes an interpretation, which also arises from good listening and writing. In this way, these resources promote a more horizontal and less paternalistic doctor-patient relationship giving to the patient the protagonism over himself and his/her pain.


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Theoretical essays

How to Cite

The exercise of writing and listening as instruments for improving clinical practice. (2020). International Journal of Education and Health, 4(2), 86-92.

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