By: Jessica Bloom, University of Michigan Medical School, MD Candidate 2015
“Not the Story” is a song that hopes to evoke conversation between patients and the medical community. Its message is meant to remind listeners that patients are more than their medical condition and that their personal stories do not fit a mold based on their diagnoses. It is sung from the patient perspective and serves as a reminder to forget assumptions and embrace the humanity that led each health provider to his or her profession.
The song came about thanks to a program run by Dr. Arno Kumagai at the University of Michigan Medical School called the Family Centered Experience. In this program, students are paired with patients dealing with chronic illness. The medical students enter the homes of their volunteer families throughout the first two years of medical school to discuss issues such as the doctor-patient relationship, breaking bad news, and stigma. At the end of our second year, we are asked to create an interpretive project based on what we have learned while building these relationships. Peter Park, Sam Neher, and I came together to create this song to deliver a message that best represented our specific patient families.
If you are interested in learning more about this song, you can find our commentary in the September issue of Academic Medicine in the Medicine and the Arts section. Thank you for listening!