The Human Experience (Ongoing)

Posted On 2022-09-09 11:52:21

This series on The Human Experience is guest edited by Dr. Paul Rousseau.

Paul Rousseau, MD
Palliative Care, Charleston, SC, USA

Dr. Paul Rousseau has practiced hospice and palliative medicine for 35 years. He is board-certified in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Rousseau also received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Rousseau has lectured and published extensively on end of life care, served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and was Associate Professor of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Medical Director, Palliative and Supportive Care Program, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina. He can be reached via email at

Introduction of the special series:

I am pleased to introduce the newest feature in Annals of Palliative Medicine (APM), The Human Experience. This new endeavor will offer a platform for sharing the personal stories (specifically stories about patient-clinician interactions) and clinical experiences of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers, as well as those of patients and their families. As Rita Charon noted (1), the effective practice of medicine requires narrative competence—the ability to acknowledge, absorb, interpret, and act on the stories and plights of others. One of the methods utilized to foster narrative competence is reflective writing, a practice that not only promotes a more humane approach to medical practice, but also bolsters resilience, empathy, self-awareness, and an increased sense of well-being.

For this new feature, APM welcomes previously unpublished personal essays, 1500 words or less, with up to three references and maximally two authors (both should have been actively involved in the experience that shared in the story). The essays must disguise or protect patient and family identities, or permission to publish must be obtained from them prior to publication. No abstract is required, and at this time, poetry is not accepted. So put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and share your stories.

  1. Charon R. JAMA. Narrative medicine. A model for empathy, reflection, profession, and trust. 2001; 286 (15): 1897-1902.

Editorial Commentary on The Human Experience
You never get used to loss
Paul Rousseau 

The series “The Human Experience” was commissioned by the editorial office, Annals of Palliative Medicine without any funding or sponsorship. Paul Rousseau is serving as the unpaid Guest Editor for the series.