I was looking online for a Duccio Demetrio's speech near Parma for my dance teacher, who has read all of his books but never had the chance to meet him, when I came across a brand new Master in Health Storytelling, promoted by the Department of Surgery Sciences of the Parma University.
This breaking news struck my attention as it somehow affects my predictably well-defined further educational plans about autobiography.
I asked for more information and straight away I got an appointment with the scientific coordinator Ms. Giovanna Artioli - nurse and Professor.
Its clear that the American theory of narrative medicine by Rita Charon is drawing crucial development directions in health professions and such a master is an opportunity for doctors, nurses and any health professional to integrate in the daily practice a new method to better understand and take care of patients, aiming to an ideally customized medicine.
But my main question was about that single tiny line of the call, stating that the master is open to graduates in humanistic disciplines, too.
But why? How? What's the idea behind it? Maybe the introduction of storytelling experts into hospitals, specialized into honouring the stories of illness and stimulating health and awareness into patients, by reconstructing their stories?
No - Giovanna is honest and erases all doubts. “We're still far from that. Moreover increasing spending review and staff cuts row against.”
But, on the other hand, she talks to me about the “behind the scenes” of this master. And this is really interesting.
"The theoric basis of this master is to try to create and interdisciplinary group, working together on the new frontiers of health storytelling, connecting their different skills, applying them in an experimental environment, leading new researches in the fields of therapeutic emplotment, autobiography, patients’ agenda and other narrative areas.”
The strategic direction I can imagine from her words, is in the effort to overcome the antithetic juxtaposition of science and humanism, by trying to assimilate positivism and phenomenology.
Students are expected to be doctors and nurses for sure, but also psychologists, sociologists, writers, teachers. The same set of proficiencies will mark the professors team, built in part with the collaboration of the Libera Università di Anghiari.
The content list of the master described in the call can be considered pretty vague, but this is related to the learnig-by-doing principle of the experimental approach.
“Wow” I said to myself. That's pioneering. Looking for union in the academic world - whose history is made by hundreds of centuries of splitting the knowledge into categories and disciplines. And, most of all, doing it with a deeply noble cause: improving the health system, hence improving health itself.
Perfectly in tune with my personal era - which could be defined "in search of unity".