The stories that develop between physician and patient are an important aspect of what has been described as narrative medicine. These stories are unique forms of narrative in that they are jointly constructed and enable the development of the clinical bond or relationship necessary for the physician to help the patient deal with his or her illness. Such a conduit for healing permits the repair or reconstitution of the broken story of illness, clarifying the meaning of illness for that particular patient. These clinical narratives are enriched by color, nuance, and detail from metaphorical tropes. However, the comprehension of such metaphors by the clinician requires an ability to listen, a penchant to decipher idiosyncratic understanding, and a capacity to honor the patient's particularity.

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