Living Library

Video Vignettes of Real Patients and Caregivers

A library of patients and caregivers (Health Mentors) available for student learning. Their stories illustrate important topics such as health care ethics, professionalism, communication, patient-centered care and more. 

Watch Videos (Access to living libaray using your CWL account or contact for access.)

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"She gave me the diagnosis of my daughter over my phone..."

Mandy & Sophie: A Caregiver’s Journey (1:05)

UBC Health Mentor Since 2012

Mandy recounts receiving her young daughter’s life changing diagnosis of Prader-Willi Syndrome over the phone.

Topics: ethics, professionalism, communication, collaborative care, caregiving, rare diseases, breaking bad news

"You're going to follow proper first aid procedures aren't you?"

Al: Being HIV+ what needs to be said? (1:38)

UBC Health Mentor Since 2014

Al details a first aid experience in Mexico to show why health professionals should always follow proper first aid procedures.

Topics: ethics, communication, stigma, patient safety

"I was Royal Canadian Air Force and CEO of Regina airport and had a stroke"

Rob: A Journey of Aphasia & Hope (1:55)

UBC Health Mentor Since 2012

Rob discusses how his stroke resulted in global aphasia, how he learned to talk again, and how hope got him through it.

Topics: communication, patient-centred care, breaking bad news

"Dementia is really an umbrella term..."

Mario & Lynn: Different Journeys with Dementia (2:35)

UBC Health Mentors Since 2016

Mario and Lynn discuss the stages from denial to acceptance in dementia diagnoses, stress the importance of positive language, individualized treatment and the role of peer support.

Topics: communication, advocacy, brain health, community resources and peer support

"He said at this point you really don't have much to lose..."

Al: A Journey of Living Positive (3:14)

UBC Health Mentor Since 2014

Al discusses living with HIV, his experiences with drug trials, medication side effects, and managing depression due to a chronic health condition.

Topics: medication side effects, mental health, advocacy, stigma

"The heartbreak has been the hardest..."

Jory & Robin: A Journey with Alzheimer’s Disease (3:57)

UBC Health Mentor Since 2012

Jory shares how his wife’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis taught him about selflessness, commitment, and heartbreak, as well as the progression of the disease and how he coped as her caregiver.

Topics: caregiving, advocacy, resiliency, family-centred care, palliative and end-of-life care

“…professionals and families, we were all working together”

Marge and Eric: Collaborative Healthcare with Families (5:11)

UBC Health Mentor Since 2012

Marge recounts her experience bringing healthcare professionals together to work with Eric, discusses the current state of the system and offers her hopes as a mother of a child born with cognitive disabilities.

Topics: Communication, collaborative care, family-centred care, advocacy, neurological disability, neurodiversity

“That confirms to me that I’m not good enough…”

Thom: History Matters (3:47)

UBC Health Mentor Since 2018

Every patient has a history beyond the chart, and history matters. Thom discusses some of the intricacies in the relationship between patient and practitioner.

Topics: Mental health, relationship, more than medical history, building trust, vulnerability

“I can stand up so that people see me eye-to-eye”

Chris: Mobility Matters (2:47)

UBC Health Mentor Since 2011

Chris describes what transportation and mobility is like for him and shows how his wheelchair can empower.

Topics: disability, transportation, mobility, independence, wheelchair demonstration

“You cannot take someone off the street and just turn them into whatever you want”

Jon: Arthritis and Painful Feet (5:23)

UBC Health Mentor Since 2017

Jon shares his experience with arthritis and makes his case for the patient-centred approach and for better collaboration within healthcare.

Topics: physical therapy, kinesiologists and biomechanics, collaborative patient-centered care and shared decision making

“How can I best communicate with you?”

Maxine: A Journey with Hearing Loss (2:16)

Western Institute for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Audiometric Technician

Maxine discusses her journey with hearing loss and life after a cochlear implant.

Topics: Communication, health and technology

“Your life will forever change once I tell you something”

Darren: The Journey to Disclosure (1:39)

UBC Health Mentor Since 2012

Darren shares the flood of emotions and feelings one has after a positive HIV diagnosis.

Topics: Criminalization, empathy, breaking bad news, communication, ethics

“Things went terribly wrong by the afternoon”

Daryl: An Experience with Assumptions (1:00)

UBC Health Patient & Community Advisory Committee Member Since 2017

Daryl recounts a negative moment in his health care journey that occurred as a result of stereotypes.

Topics: Stigma, communication, professionalism