Lucy O'Hagan, M.D.
Wanaka, New Zealand

I have been a small town doctor for nearly 20 years. 

I mainly give out tissues and condoms. And tend the wounded. Sometimes at night. 

I thought I would change medicine- 

I did not realize medicine would change me--for better or for worse. 

I like problems but prefer solutions. 

I am driven by curiosity- 

I have learnt that things are seldom what they seem. 

I am the keeper of the town's secrets 

And the towns criers, 

And I put plasters on.


Why did you choose the CNP's certificate program?

As a family physician I have spent 20 years listening to stories, translating them into other stories and watching how they evolve. I am intrigued by the idea that humans make sense of their world through stories, that we narrate ourselves into being. I sense that medical encounters are just a moment in time in a narrative that holds both past and future. Our assessments are often divorced from the story, static images through a particular lens.

What has been your experience with low-residency education, e.g. August residency week, online sessions?

The week in Boston was marvellous. The team are dynamic responsive enthusiasts. It was interesting for me to be with students who were not doctors, and tutors from a range of academic perspectives, literature, philosophy, creative writing, sociology...It was different ways of seeing personified. Apparently I finished the week an "overstimulated jelly-fish". Buts that's exactly what I signed up for!

How do you envision you will apply this intensive training in narrative in your life, professionally and/or personally?

I feel I have been given permission to think or write my own life. With both academic rigour and creativity. I want to use narrative principles in teaching family physicians about clinical encounters. I want to think more about the doctors narrative , my own; about the sort of stories doctors inhabit, the stories they are allowed to speak of, the stories that get status, how doctors narrate themselves into being.