Annie Brewster

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Annie Brewster is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and a practicing Internist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. She is also a patient, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001.

Like many doctors, she would say that what drew her to medicine is her love for human connection.  Her experiences with the medical profession, however, both as a practitioner and as a patient, have convinced her that today’s medical system, focused more on efficiency and scientific mastery than on relationships, often overlooks what is most important: the stories of people’s lives. The result is many unhappy patients and many dissatisfied doctors.

In 2010, motivated by her belief in the power of stories to improve health, Annie started recording patient narratives. Her finished audio stories have appeared on WBUR’s Commonhealth Blog, as a part of the “Listening to Patients” series. In doing this work, Annie has seen first hand how the process of storytelling is itself therapeutic, both for the storytellers and the listeners. Research supports this claim. Since then, she has founded Health Story Collaborative, a 501 c3 organization dedicated to collecting, honoring, and sharing stories of illness and healing. In addition, for the past two years she has been working with Massachusetts General Hospital and NBBJ architects to develop the SharingClinic, a hospital based sharing and listening booth that will hopefully come to fruition soon. She is committed to keeping the patient voice alive in health care, and to harnessing the healing power of stories.