Tag: integrative medicine

Annie Robinson Annie Robinson (52 Posts)

Curator of Inside Stories and in-Training Staff Member

Columbia University

Annie Robinson completed a Master of Science in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University in 2014. She previously studied the healing power of stories as an undergraduate at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Annie works as Narrative Coaching Specialist with Eating Disorder Recovery Specialists, helping individuals in the early stages of eating disorder recovery through mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and narrative practices. She is also the Program Officer at Health Story Collaborative, a non-profit that creates forums for individuals to tell their stories of personal health challenges, and curates another oral narratives projects called On the Road to Recovered: Voices from the Eating Disorder Recovery Community. Annie is a coordinator and full-spectrum doula for The Doula Project in New York City, providing compassionate care for women during experiences of abortion, miscarriage, and fetal loss. As a yoga teacher, writer, educator, and co-founder of NYC-based wellness community Pause, Breathe, and Connect, Annie shares her passion for integrative approaches to wellbeing. She is dedicated to creating spaces for people to explore the healing potential of interweaving of stories, spirituality, and somatic experience.

Inside Stories

Inside Stories is an oral narratives project which invites medical students to share their experiences in medical school in the form of brief podcasts published and archived on in-Training. The project aims to provide a means of personal healing, self-realization and empowerment through the sharing and receiving of personal stories, as well as to cultivate community among students in the often isolating medical school environment. The title Inside Stories reflects the project's mission to encourage students to go inside themselves and bring forth things that often go unspoken. It also represents the inside look listeners are granted into the sometimes private, challenging and confusing experiences students may have. Made possible in part by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and FJC.


How can doctors-in-training allow their personal experiences with the health care system shape their own practice? Kalla, a second-year medical student in New York, describes how witnessing her father benefit from the addition of meditation and acupuncture to his cancer treatment inspired her to incorporate an integrative approach to her own self-care and future practice.

Emotions and Energy in the ICU

Doing a sub-internship in the ICU is, well, intense. On the first day, I was completely overwhelmed by seeing so many sick patients, most of whom were sedated, ventilated, and on at least one pressor. In just a few weeks, this came to seem perfectly normal. However, what continued to stir me were the extreme emotions I saw patients and their families experiencing. I couldn’t help but feel those emotions myself. The most difficult day—thankfully …


How can doctors-in-training maintain an appreciation for their patients as people? Jack, a third-year medical student in Chicago intending to become a gastroenterologist, shares his hopes about preserving the humanity in medicine. He also questions the necessity of certain interventions, considers who gets to make pivotal medical decisions, and imagines how integrative practices can be incorporated into conventional medicine.

My Journey into Integrative Medicine

“Integrative Medicine is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.” —Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine The following is a brief summary of some insights from the path I traveled to come to an understanding of the type …

Recommendations for Referral to CAM Practitioners

The sister of a woman recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) came to the neurology clinic while I was on rotation there and asked the physician if there was anything else besides riluzole that her sister could use for treatment. Essentially, the doctor responded that there were no other treatments. This sister was inquisitive, though, and pressed further–“I had heard acupuncture might be useful. What do you think?” It couldn’t hurt, the physician replied. She then …

Ego or Confidence? Reflections from a Tentative Heart

A 77-year-old retired schoolteacher presented to the neurosurgery outpatient clinic to go over her lumbar spine MRI results. After looking at the computer screen for a matter a seconds, one of the leading spinal surgeons in the country turned to me and declared the diagnosis: “Spinal stenosis. There is nothing I can do for her. She is elderly, has a weak heart, and a smoking history. The risks are too great.” We went into the …

Finding Health with Integrative Medicine

“What am I supposed to eat?! How do I make the pain go away?!” An exasperated 41-year-old man with Crohn’s disease spoke to me in confidence upon his second hospital admission in two weeks for flare-ups of his inflammatory bowel disease. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease nearly 10 years ago and, up to this point, the only form of treatment he had been given was a single prophylactic pill that he took daily to …

Vincent Minichiello Vincent Minichiello (4 Posts)

Columnist Emeritus

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Vinny is a Class of 2013 student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, applying to family medicine residency programs. Passionate about strengthening the body's own healing mechanism, he is invested in learning more about integrative medicine and hopes to practice family medicine in combination with Chinese medicine and osteopathic manipulation therapy in the future. He loves his fiancée dearly and is looking forward to their marriage in May 2013!