Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Anna Reisman


This thesis analyzes clinician-authored narratives about mental illness. Through this lens, it argues that the writing and reading of medical narratives can facilitate the development of key clinical skills such as structural competence and situated knowledge – terms that this thesis will define and discuss at length. It will argue that clinicians who write about structural barriers to health do so to develop a deeper understanding about their vulnerable and marginalized patient populations. It will assert that clinicians who pursue situated knowledge can positively impact health outcomes. Ultimately, this thesis will compare what clinician-authored narratives can achieve with what patient centered advocacy sets out to do. It will contend that writing is a tool for improving patient care that has a different but vital function from the important work of advocacy.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access