Tell Us: What’s Your Medical Metaphor?

Do you have a barking cough or butterflies in your stomach? Are you waging a war against an army of bacteria? Perhaps you are approaching life with chronic disease as a marathon, not a sprint – with bumps in the road on your journey to health.

Whatever your health condition, TEDMED 2014 speaker and physician storyteller Abraham Verghese believes that medical metaphor is key to better understanding what’s happening in your body. Studies show that when physicians use metaphor, patients are more satisfied with their communication. In his TEDMED talk, Abraham encourages patients and healthcare providers alike to invent metaphors to help bridge a widening communication gap.

“It’s a peculiar atrophy of the imagination at a time when our scientific imagination knows no bounds. I think our right brains are churning, wanting to label and make colorful and to connect, but the imagined constraints of science and data have introduced a peculiar self-consciousness.” — Abraham Verghese

Now, it’s your turn. In his blog post, Abraham invites you to create more eponyms, more metaphors, and more colorful ways of capturing this incredible time we live in. So we invite you to tell us your favorite medical metaphor – or create one of your own – tagging it with #mymedicalmetaphor via Twitter. Or, if your metaphor goes beyond the boundaries of 140 characters, try tagging it on Facebook or any other platform you use.

Next week, Abraham will choose his three favorites. If your metaphor is selected, we’ll send you a copy of Abraham’s book, Cutting for Stone.

Go on – flex that right brain. Good luck!