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Compassion and Humanism in Medical Education Scholarship (CHIMES) (Babal)

A message from Dr. Babal

Welcome. My research and scholarly work explores compassion and humanism in medical education and well-being in medicine and health care.

woman standing at podium giving presentation next to a large screen

Specifically, I am interested in exploring the ways in which Storytelling and Health Humanities Education can:

  • Cultivate compassion, joy, and meaning
  • Improve health care delivery

My research also seeks to unearth the drivers of well-being in the learning environment for health care trainees as conceptualized by stakeholders.

Storytelling in medicine

Babal serves as the director of the Listen In! Storytelling Collaborative, an inter-departmental initiative that develops storytelling programming and research.

Related article: Upcoming Department of Pediatrics Story Slam will feature stories on the theme ‘Roses, Thorns, and Buds’


Read the following excerpt from the article:

Babal saw that medical training and practice seemed to squeeze the stories of patients — and often those of their doctors — to the barest minimum. It seemed there was an assumption that “if we can distill stories to ‘just the biological facts’ we will get everything we need to do accomplished,” Babal said. When that happens, it can become harder to recognize that people’s stories may matter just as much, if not more, than their biology. Stories remind us that “physicians are people, not machines,” Babal explained. “And patients are people — they are not vessels holding disease processes.”

The work of the Listen In! Storytelling Collaborative aims to connect colleagues through story to cultivate meaning and compassion in medicine.

A scene from the inaugural Department of Pediatrics Story Slam, held October 18, 2022, at Mystery to Me bookstore.

Related publications

Well-being in health care education and clinical practice

Do you know about the Domains of Pediatrician and Pediatric Resident Well-being? Check out these two articles to find out more.

These studies use concept mapping strategy to ask pediatric residents, residency program leaders, and pediatricians what they think about a topic and the result is a visual map that graphically organizes thought processes. Do these domains align with your experiences as a pediatrician or with your observations of residents? What resonates with you? What strikes you as surprising?

Related publications

Pediatric Resident Burnout-Resilience Consortium Study

The Pediatric Resident Burnout-Resilience Consortium Study (PRB-RSC) consists of over 40 member pediatric and medicine-pediatric training programs that are committed to studying the epidemiology and developing best methods to prevent/mitigate burnout and promote resilience in pediatric residents.

Babal PRB-RSC co-PI on behalf of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Pediatrics, which conducts a national well-being survey annually to assess resident well-being

logo of the Pediatric Resident Burnout-Resilience Consortium Study

Related publications

Gender bias in pediatrics

Babal conducts research with other women in the Department of Pediatrics exploring gender bias in residency education.

Related publications

Dr. Jessica Babal
Jessica Babal, MD
Associate Professor

Related Links

Department Biography


Repeating pattern of colorful watercolor hearts
Heart. Babal 2023
Group of four people standing in front of a scientific poster.
Dr. Jessica Babal, second from left, with a group of Department of Pediatrics faculty.