Rita A. Charon, MD, PhD

Board Certifications: 
Internal Medicine
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Rita Charon is founder and Executive Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine. She completed the MD at Harvard in 1978 and the PhD in English at Columbia in 1999. Her research focuses on doctor-patient relationships, narrative skill in medicine, and reflective practice. She has received a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio residency, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and research funding from the NIH, the NEH, and several private foundations. She has lectured widely on narrative medicine and published in such journals of medicine and literary studies as The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Narrative, Henry James Review, and Literature and Medicine. She is the author of Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness and co-editor of Stories Matter: The Role of Narrative in Medical Ethics and Psychoanalysis and Narrative Medicine. She is working on a new book on narrative medicine and another on the last stories of Henry James.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Medical Humanities and Ethics at CUMC

Administrative Titles

  • Chair, Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • Female

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Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • Harvard Medical School
  • Internship: Montefiore Hospital
  • Residency: Montefiore Hospital
  • Fellowship: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Board Certifications

  • Internal Medicine