WBUR Staff

Annie Brewster

Contributor, CommonHealth, WBUR

Annie Brewster is a practicing internal medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as the founder and executive director of Health Story Collaborative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using storytelling as a therapeutic tool. She is also a patient, living with multiple sclerosis since 2001.

Recent stories

Commentary: Getting Off Psych Meds Was The ‘Hardest Thing’ She’d Ever Done

March 16, 2016
Laura Delano weaned herself off psychiatric drugs and says she shed her identity as a “professional mental patient.” (Courtesy)

“Every patient is unique, and there is still so much we don’t know,” writes Dr. Annie Brewster, after relaying a woman’s story navigating the mental health system.

The Face Of Opioid Addiction: Vinnie, A ‘Regular’ Guy From Revere

September 04, 2015
In this 2013 file photo, a recovering heroin addict holds a demonstration dose of the medication Suboxone. (M. Spencer Green/AP)

Ultimately, it was a pharmacist who put a stop to Vinnie’s opioid use by refusing to fill his prescription.

Traumatic Turning Point: How The Marathon Bombing Shifted One Woman’s Depression

April 20, 2015
Jennifer on Marathon Monday 2013, before the runners started coming in (Courtesy)

Something changed on the finish line at the Boston Marathon in 2013. It was, Jennifer says, “a turning point” in her life, but not in the ways you might expect.

Making Peace With My Abnormal Brain

September 12, 2014

First, my brain images tell a clear story. My disease is progressive. While on the outside I feel great and full of energy, these pictures show me that there is unrest on the inside.

From Crushing Infertility To Letting Go Of ‘How It Should Be’

August 06, 2014

Dr. Annie Brewster’s interview with Sue Levy, a patient with a rare lung disease who also went through an infertility ordeal — but now has two daughters and the wisdom to let go of “how things should be.”

Life Lessons From An Ultra Rare, Potentially Fatal Disease

April 04, 2014

What if you were suddenly diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease just when your life, work and marriage were on track and your plans to start a family were underway?

Storytelling For Health: Doctor Promotes Intimate Patient Narratives

March 11, 2014

Dr. Annie Brewster says: “My experience in the health care system — both as a physician and as a patient living with multiple sclerosis — has convinced me that the current practice of medicine squeezes out what is a most essential element of healing: the stories of peoples’ lives.”

West Nile Story: 400 Days In Hospital, A New View Of Health Care (And Life)

January 17, 2014

In August of 2012, Charlie Atkinson was bitten by a mosquito in the garden outside his home in Cambridge, Mass. From that bite, against the odds, he contracted West Nile Virus. It nearly killed him.

Extreme Mothering: When A Child Has A Relentless Disease

November 08, 2013

Brook seemed to be developing normally. But at around six months old, she started to regress. Eventually, after a long medical work up, Brook was diagnosed with Tay Sachs disease and her mother was told Brook would most likely not live past her third birthday.

One Teenager’s Female-To-Male Story: Going Through Puberty Twice

July 12, 2013

Zachary went through puberty twice, first as a girl, then as a boy, after he started taking hormones. He was born female but he has always known, even before he could articulate it, that he is male.

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