As a doctor, Mehl-Madrona helps patients discover their own stories of illness and create ones of healing that pull them forward toward recovery. These stories help create hope and a path to wellness—features often lacking in the “story” that patients get from mainstream medicine based on statistics and life expectancy tables.
Mehl-Madrona’s efforts to bring narrative medicine into mainstream practice seem to be making headway. This fall, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons began offering a master’s degree in narrative medicine. Mehl-Madrona is currently an associate professor of psychology at Argosy University in Hawaii.