In this talk, Hospice/Palliative Care Medicine Fellow Christopher Jones discusses the use of documentary within medicine and presents an 8-minute piece he produced with caregivers in palliative care. With this documentary project, Dr Jones hoped to tell the story of palliative care using interviews with nurses, social workers, chaplains and aids. “I wanted to share what makes work that many people think of as really depressing rewarding,” he says.
“Physicians bring a special lens to hearing a story,” Jones says, explaining the value of using documentary in medicine. “We spend our careers asking people questions and really shifting the focus of the questions from trying to get at a health problem to get at someone’s story… there’s a lot of value in that.”
The project fulfills a final requirement for physicians in the Documenting Medicine program. In 2010, the Duke Graduate Medical Education Innovation Fund provided seed funding to pilot Documenting Medicine, which pairs Duke physician residents and fellows with documentarians at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies to produce documentary work exploring medical issues.