2022 Rural Health Conference ‘Caring to Care’ Workshop
On May 15, Sarah de Leeuw, Kung Jaadee, and Darian Goldin Stahl presented a 2-hour workshop at the Rural Health Conference in Penticton, BC. This interactive session entitled, “Caring to Care: Health Humanities, Cultural Humility, Storytelling, and Physician Wellness in Northern, Rural, and Remote British Columbia,” had 27 rural physicians in attendance.
This interactive plenary was designed to move hearts and minds: it built on the starting point that British Columbia is a colonial geography and that, increasingly, family physicians are being asked to consider terms like cultural humility, cultural competency, anti-racism, and trauma-informed care. At the same time, family physicians are experiencing unprecedented rates of burnout, exhaustion, and stress: how to bridge the divide between, on the one hand, being asked to think about and practice clinical care in new and ‘anticolonial’ ways while, on the other hand, not elevating feelings of frustration and fatigue? Part of the answer might be located with storytelling and narrative medicine, both of which can be broadly conceptualized as tools of a growing field known as health humanities.
Facilitated by a team of non-Indigenous and Indigenous storytellers, bookmakers, writers, and health humanities researchers, the Caring to Care Interactive Plenary included: Indigenous stories about the ways we have come to be in this world and how we might work differently in the world; a hands on book making and reflective writing exercise; and an opportunity to learn about how stories, books, and narratives can be important tools in deepening understandings about cultural humility, cultural competency, anti-racism. Facilitators have lived experience and kinship ties to northern, rural, and remote British Columbia: this workshop highlighted that, as practitioners in overlooked geographies, our stories matter and, from our stories, come sources of strength, innovation, and potential.