Building resilience: an innovative reflective writing method for clinical palliative care – the 55 word story

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Cory Ingram
Lucille Marchand
Ellen Wild


Finding innovative reflective self-care techniques reduces the potential for burnout and the stress associated with attending to the needs of the very ill and the dying. Time is often a barrier to self care; and narrative methodologies often seem to require too much time or writing ability. We offer a novel, time efficient, practical approach for debut at AAHPM/HPNA that is useful to almost everyone.

The 55 word medical narrative about clinical encounters from the perspective of the clinician is the self care therapeutic tool offered during this session. Participants will experience and leave empowered to approach the medical narrative in a brief but meaningful way. In this workshop session, participants will be introduced to pertinent research and content on narrative medicine, and will participate in writing a 55 word story about a personal or professional encounter in hospice and palliative care, or about a topic that they want to explore in palliative care such as hope, compassion, doubt, or guilt.

Participants will share their 55 word story in dyads, give feedback on this method and its impact on resilience and reflection.


1.         Describe a novel, effective yet brief framework for the use of medical narrative as a reflective exercise for increasing resilience within the larger literature of narrative medicine methods.

2.         Demonstrate and experience the 55 word medical narrative as a brief but effective reflective exercise.

3.         Integrate the 55 word story narrative method into various clinical care and teaching settings in palliative care.

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How to Cite
Ingram, C., Marchand, L., & Wild, E. (2018). Building resilience: an innovative reflective writing method for clinical palliative care – the 55 word story. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 5(1).
Congress 2017

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