Introducing Rita Charon (et al.)

I had worked a couple of weeks (in late autumn 2021) at Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanities when I first heard the name “Professor Rita Charon”. I could see something happening in Katarina Bernhardsson’s face when she said that name; a shimmer almost. A few weeks later, Martin Garwicz announced that Rita Charon was to get the Philip Sandblom Prize and hold the Prize lecture at Lund University. Sponsors behind this event: Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanities and the Royal Physiographic Society in Lund. Date: October 2022.

If you ever wondered how fast 10 months go by in a business like ours? Well, let me tell you: fast. The e-mails to and from Rita Charon became more intense during August. We planned a whole week around that Prize Lecture, cramming in as many people and meetings we possibly could to get hold of her experience and excellence. Interestingly enough, I could feel that I also had that shimmer in my face every time we talked about Rita Charon, and this before I even met her. Her e-mails were truly professional, at all times, with a touch of warm humour in every single one.

                                                                              This is her:

Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D. Professor and Founding Chair of Medical Humanities & Ethics, Professor of Medicine, and Executive Director of Columbia Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, USA. Rita Charon is a general internist and literary scholar who originated the field of narrative medicine. She completed the MD at Harvard in 1978 and the PhD in English at Columbia in 1999. Her research focuses on the consequences of narrative medicine practice, narrative medicine pedagogy, and health care team effectiveness.

And if you don’t know who Katarina Bernhardsson and Martin Garwicz are? I’m proud to call them my nearest colleagues and the centre management.

An article about them and us can be read here (in Swedish)

And an interview with Martin Garwicz is found here

November 20, 2022

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About BRCMH Rita Charon

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