Medical Humanities explores questions of value and meaning in and around medical thinking and practice. Every medical specialty includes a doctor and a patient, and the doctor-patient relationship is the domain—and essence—of the medical humanities.
In this course, we focus on two people: the patient and the professional caregiver. Each brings his or her unique perspective, history, belief system, strength and weakness to the doctor-patient relationship. Every time a physician walks in a patient’s room, something happens that affects the emotional and physical well-being of the patient and the physician.
Our overall approach to this class flows from our beliefs that:
- The medical humanities can be learned and applied to the practice of every field in medicine.
- Learning is most effective when it is self-motivated.
- An expert is someone with a genuine interest in a subject.
- Learning requires humility and collaboration.
- Learning is a lot of fun.
This course is intended to empower students to:
- Take ownership of the course so that class time is spent in ways students find most meaningful and engaging.
- Practice self-reflection and self-directed learning; this is how one will learn throughout her/his career.
- Collaborate—rather than compete—by supporting colleagues in their questioning.
- Seek out items, thoughts, and experiences from everyday life that are the stuff of medical humanities, and share what one finds with others.
- Apply the questions explored and lessons learned in this course to one’s personal and professional life.
- Experience creativity in medicine.