CFP: Narrative, Reflection, Education (Symposium)

Creating Space II: Taking narrative and reflection to the next level in health professional education, research and practice

A special symposium organized in conjunction with the Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME), sponsored by the Canadian Association for Medical Education’s “Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences in Medicine” (AHSSM) Educational Interest Group (EIG).

Date: Saturday April 14, 2012 | Location: Banff, Alberta

Abstract (500 word) Submission Deadline: January 15, 2012

We are organizing a one-day symposium on narrative and reflection that will be held on April 14th, 2012 in conjunction with the Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME). This symposium has been organized to provide a forum for researchers, educators, and others interested in the role of arts, humanities and social sciences perspectives in health professional education. We are inviting clinical and medical educators, students, practitioners, creative writers and artists, and scholars from different humanities disciplines, to participate in a day-long conversation focused on exploring a diversity of narrative and reflective practices across the continuum of learning, including interprofessional learning. We hope to foster an open space for dialogue regarding theoretical framings and methodologies informing current and best practices, along with opportunities for advancing inquiry in this area by identifying a range of pressing research questions. We will be developing a single-track symposium programme, along with a poster display.

ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS: We are inviting abstract submissions that consider different approaches to narrative and reflection in health professional education that bridge the arts, humanities, and/ or social sciences perspectives and healthcare. Specifically, we are interested in the impact of narrative and reflection, including how different kinds of evidence/ inquiry might bear on questions of the value and contribution of narrative and reflection. We also hope to ignite new creative connections, and possibly collaborations, among participants. We look forward to expanding appreciation and understanding of the possibilities of narrative and arts-based learning, and generating or enhancing a reflective openness in health professional education. Various presentation approaches may be suggested. Individual and panel presentations, and other creative approaches such as reflective dialogues; reflective readings/ performances, etc. may be proposed. Presentations may be described that involve oral and written narratives, visual narratives, audio, and other performative genres. Submissions for poster presentations are also welcome. Abstracts are invited in relation to three broad themes:

1) Innovative pedagogical conceptualizations and strategies that advance understanding of the contributions of narrative (e.g., narrative reasoning);

2) Papers that are conceptually well-grounded and explore theoretical, or ethical, and/ or related research questions regarding the role and contributions of narrative and reflective practice in undergraduate, postgraduate or continuing health professional education.

3) “Best practice” educational initiatives in this area that have been introduced to advance compassion, caring and empathy in healthcare (NB: these will most often be considered in relation to a poster presentation)

We encourage submissions on a diverse range of topics relevant to health professional education, such as:

  • Situating narrative and reflection in health professional education: past and future
  • Evaluating/ assessing current contributions and impact
  • Narrative identity(ies): Personal and professional development
  • Defining “narrative competence” and ; narrative reasoning
  • Impact Patient safety; medical error
  • Exposing the hidden curriculum
  • Narratives of growth and becoming a clinician
  • Developing one’s moral imagination and sense of professionalism through narrative and story
  • Ethics and aesthetics: Bearing witness and responding to another’s narrative
  • Interplay of voice / competing cultural narratives
  • Intertextual/ media tensionalities
  • Transformative readings and imaginings
  • Narrative humility and accountability
  • Limits and pitfalls; constraints – other issues and complexities

Maximum length of abstract: 500 words, not including title, and listed authors. Indicate if you want your submission to be considered: 1) for a paper/ panel/ performance presentation only (specify), or 2) as a poster, or 3) indicate if you are open to considering either presentation format category. Proposals should be of interest to a diverse audience of healthcare educators and scholars, and serve as a departure point for lively discussion. All co-authors listed should have knowledge of the submission. Please include a short biographical statement for the presenting authors (maximum 100 words). One author should be identified as the corresponding author. All communication regarding the submission will be directed to the identified corresponding author.

Please submit your abstract in a Microsoft Word document by email attachment to Pamela Brett-MacLean and Tom Rosenal at:

SUBMISSION DEADLINE/ REVIEW: The deadline for abstract submissions is January 15th, 2012. Abstracts will be considered in relation to fit and contribution (e.g., addresses at least one of the symposium themes, contributes well to the overall programme; substantive contribution to education, practice ore related research involving narrative &/ or reflection); as well as quality (organization and coherence). We anticipate completing our review of the submissions by the end of January, with a decision communicated to the corresponding author by early February regarding the outcome of the review process (i.e., if the abstract has been accepted as a paper or poster, or if their submission has not been included in this year’s programme). The conference programme will be posted online by mid- to late-February on the AHSSM EIG website at<> (which is currently under construction).


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