Storytelling, the Dramatic Arc and Empathy

Tracy Granzyk MS, Managing Editor, Educate the Young
Tracy Granzyk MS, Managing Editor, Educate the Young

By Tracy Granzyk MS

First Posted at Educate the Young on 12/31/2013

Tracy Granzyk MS, Managing Editor, Educate the Young
Tracy Granzyk MS, Managing Editor, Educate the Young

In healthcare today, it is the stories we share–

  • …a save by a young resident physician
  • …the bravery of a young father to face countless experimental cancer treatments to spend one more Thanksgiving with his kids
  • …the strength of young mothers who repeatedly share their stories of loss to protect the children of others, or
  • …the ability of new technology to detect illness in time to preserve a life…

that move us to action–slowly in some instances, more quickly in others. More and more, research is showing that stories designed with classic story structure have the power to move mountains–and us–by altering brain chemistry, and as a result, behavior. The following short video is a narrative version of such research, told by lead investigator and neuroeconomist, Paul Zak. What will you do with the empathy our healthcare stories evoke? Will you act on what you feel in 2014?

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Tracy Granzyk MS is Managing Editor for Educate the Young, and a freelance writer and social media consultant who specializes in healthcare, wellness and sport. She spent 15 years in sales, marketing and global strategy in the biotech industry, and joined Dr. Mayer in 2008 as a writer on the award-winning Transparent Health film series where a passion for patient safety took hold. With a graduate degree in sport psychology and an undergraduate degree in non-fiction writing, Tracy is well-positioned to take complex science and healthcare information and share it in a narrative form that resonates with audiences coming from all sides of healthcare. Her insatiable quest for acquiring and sharing knowledge in innovative ways via social and digital media has led to a greater understanding of where technology can take healthcare. As such, her research has most recently been focused in education technology, serious games/simulation, and storytelling.