Susan Stagno, M.D.
Cleveland, OH 

Susan is Professor of Psychiatry and Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and holds the Sihler Family Professorship in Psychiatry. She served for over 8 years as residency training director for the psychiatry residency program at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. She is currently the Director for Education for the Psychiatry Department, co-director of the Center for Ethics and Professionalism at University Hospitals, and faculty lead for the Humanities Pathway for CWRU SOM.

She is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and is board certified in general psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine.  She was the recipient of the APA's Irma Bland Excellence in Teaching Residents Award in 2014.


Why did you choose the CNP's certificate program?

I have been interested in Narrative Medicine for a long time and do some teaching using narrative. I chose the CNP program because I wanted to gain more experience and pedagogical skills, and to expand my use of narrative in teaching beyond the use of short stories. I also was attracted to this program because of the low-residency aspect. I have a full-time job and am not able to take a semester or two away to study in a program distant from me. So this program was perfect - 2 weeks in Boston (who doesn't love that!), and the classes in between done over the web!

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

The week in August during which we all met together was really amazing. It stretched my limits into areas I had not had exposure before (such as music, dance and visual arts), and it was a wonderful way for all of us to bond as a learner group with the very skilled and fantastic faculty that were there to guide us. The week in August makes the online learning possible, because we all know and trust each other and can use this "virtual classroom" productively each week.

What has the highlight of the program been for you so far?

There are many highlights! The faculty are so generous of time and spirit and it is an honor to learn from all of them! I do have to say that going home from the week in August wanting to re-read "Moby Dick" speaks volumes to the great teaching and learning environment we were in. The music of Ricky Bird and his compassion and caring for those with addictive disorders was really inspirational to me.


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

I have been so fortunate to have been asked by the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine to lead a Humanities Pathway program for medical students (with the future plan to be inclusion of those in other areas of medicine such as nursing, dentistry, social work, etc.). The training from CNP is directly applicable to the curriculum development and teaching that I will be doing with this Pathway. On a personal level, I feel that this program will enrich my own reading, as well as teaching me other skills in the use of narrative.