Objective: We sought to identify and define "highly humanistic" formation narratives, and understand how these events described, together with a reflective learning process, the professional development of physicians in a longitudinal faculty development program. Methods: Qualitative analysis of twenty highly humanistic appreciative inquiry narratives selected from a total of 124 written by faculty members at the beginning and end of an eighteen month program at eight medical schools. [9,10] We employed the immersion/crystallization method of Borkan  to capture the rich meanings and emotional depth of the twenty narratives. Results: Highly humanistic formation narratives described emotionally charged events in which the faculty writers provided humanistic care that went beyond what they had previously thought themselves capable of; benefited the patient, family or faculty member to a major extent; and reaffirmed or strengthened their professional values. Highly humanistic formation narratives were clustered at the end of our eighteen month curriculum. Conclusions: Participation in faculty development for humanism may have increased the numbers of highly humanistic events by sensitizing and motivating faculty members to meet their patients' emotional needs. Practice implications: Our paper describes a process whereby faculty members may achieve growth in their capacities to meet patients' needs.
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