Creative Writing Workshops in Narrative
Medicine for Medical Students, Residents & Fellows with Author
A Memoir Writing Workshop for Medical Students and
Residents and Fellows to develop:
This workshop offers medical students the opportunity
to write about their life experiences in the form of memoir. With
the camaraderie of class members, students will read work-in-progress
for discussion, affirmation, and critique. Students should plan
to spend approximately 2 hours a week on writing outside of class-time.
Goals: Writing memoir cultivates your observational
abilities and your sensitivity to the world around you. It deepens
your self-knowledge and conception of lifes emotional complexities
and so will help you to recognize the broader ramifications of
illness that patients and their families must face and the many
complex and layered issues that arise daily in the field of medicine.
Objectives: There is no page requirement. You will
most likely complete one or two short pieces or you may find you
complete the beginning of a longer work. Mostly, the objective
of this class is for you to discover writing as a creative outlet
that will sustain you throughout your career - a means of relieving
stress, a means of more fully understanding the needs of your
patients, and a way to express and understand not only past experience,
but also those that await you in the future.
Student Response: Tufts University School of
While a lot of our medical education (so far)
involves memorizing thousands of new terms per month I was happy
to challenge myself to also be a creative person. The course
has helped me become more self aware and reflective. In writing
I have begun to understand my flaws and this is the first step
in trying to change them. As a teacher Peggy Rambach provided
the necessary guidance to point us in the right direction. She
was subtle enough in her criticisms that she got her points
across without hurting our feelings.
Rather than writing terse phrases at the base
of a paragraph, she gave me concrete suggestions that helped
focus and direct my writing. By helping me to find my voice
as a writer I think she has helped me also find my voice as
a person. The final thing that the course provided me was an
opportunity to understand my classmates in a more intimate setting.
When I see these classmates on campus I feel a greater sense
of camaraderie with them. Most of our time at the med school
is spent in class or studying so it has been reassuring to know
that students are making an attempt to lead richer lives. I
hope that this course continues to be offered as it was the
highlight of my first semester. I feel that it will make me
a better doctor.
-- David Ferrone
Standard fee per hour: $60
One full-day residency: $500
6 week residency or 60 contact/non-contact hours:
All residency fees are negotiable.
Peggy Rambach collaborates with facilities and arts
agencies to procure funding for her residencies.
General Statement About Workshops:
All of Peggy Rambachs workshops can be designed
for a one-hour presentation, a weekend to two week intensive,
and a six - ten week session. All workshops culminate with a reading
and website and/or hard copy publication of participants
work. Participants are encouraged to determine their own topics
that are more meaningful and relevant to the writer than guided
exercises. All submissions to the booklet/website publication,
and participation in the reading are voluntary. HIPAA Laws are
observed in health care settings. All workshops in health care
settings are followed by a twenty-minute debrief session with
staff and/or administrators. Generally, workshop enrollment is
limited to 12 participants.
Funders and Partnerships: Schwartz
Vermont Arts Exchange (www.vtartxchange.org)
Tufts University School of Medicine (www.tufts.edu/med/index_noflash.html).
Author, Peggy Rambach, runs creative writing workshops in community education settings for the Healing Arts in health care, correctional facilities, ESL programs and immigrant support centers as well as offering assistance with lesson plans in professional development presentations for middle and high school teachers. She teaches memoir writing in medical schools as part of the curriculum in Narrative Medicine and Medical Humanities. Ms. Rambach is conveniently located for teachers, students and participants from throughout New England including the Vermont (VT) cities of Bennington, Burlington and Montpelier, the Maine (ME) cities of Portland, Gardener, Kennebunkport and York, the New Hampshire (NH) cities of Portsmouth, Concord, Manchester, Dover, Nashua and Rochester, the Massachusetts (MA) cities of Boston, Newburyport, Amherst, North Hampton, Salem, Beverly, Lawrence, Lowell, Haverhill, Gloucester, Plymouth, New Bedford, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Rockport, Hyannis, and Falmouth, the Rhode Island (RI) cities of Providence and Newport and the Connecticut (CT) cities of New Haven and Hartford.