As humans we tend to make sense of experience through writing and reading. In books, poems, movies, and songs, we frame our joys and sorrows in words. Since research shows that writing engenders healing, healthcare settings are an ideal place to utilize the literary arts. AIM writers in residence encourage patients, family members, staff and medical students to explore creative expression through poetry, short essay, oral history, letters and journal entries. By sharing words, community is created. Whether patient, student or seasoned practitioner, no one is left alone in challenging terrain.
On average, about 1,500 writing prompts are provided by a Arts in Medicine writer in residence at the bedside or in workshops annually.
During a visit from a Writer in Residence, a patient can choose to participate in a variety of creative writing activities. Examples include Blackout Poetry, journaling, oral histories, and legacy projects. Consultation requests can be placed through clinical staff using EPIC or by calling Arts in Medicine at (352) 733-0880.
In a collaboration between patients, musicians, and writers, our team helps craft the words and musical tastes of patients into songs, giving patients an opportunity to explore their interest in songwriting and provide them a completed song they can take with them. Consultation requests for songwriting sessions can be placed through clinical staff using EPIC or by calling Arts in Medicine at (352) 733-0880.
Writers in residence guide patients through significant memories of their lives to create a narrative reflective of the patient's history. Using spoken word, and often recorded, the writer in residence transcribes the patient's history and returns it to them to keep or give to loved ones. Consultation requests can be placed through clinical staff using EPIC or by calling Arts in Medicine at (352) 733-0880.
This project launched at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington in 2016 by creating a dream archive featuring anonymous dream accounts from the community of people that temporarily reside there. This project is now being introduced through UF Health to generate a cumulative dream archive and online database for UF Health patients, visitors, and staff to anonymously record and document their dreams.