[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Literature-centered medicine is a nontraditional learning method developed to supplement medical didactic curricula. With this method, a work of medically related fiction was used as a starting point in the exploration of various historical and contemporary topics. The project initially involved reading Morton Thompson’s The Cry and the Covenant, a fictionalized biography of the Hungarian obstetrician Ignac Semmelweis, known for promoting antisepsis in nineteenth-century Europe. Subsequently, a branching analysis of five major topics generated from this work was conducted. Multiple parallels were identified between nineteenth-century and twenty-first century medical communities. The group concluded that approaching medicine from this nontraditional angle was an intellectually stimulating way to learn and an excellent supplement to didactic education. Literature-centered medicine led to an exploration of issues that would have otherwise been overlooked in a standard learning environment, while also providing an opportunity to apply history to the understanding of modern medical practice.
Eä : Revista de Humanidades Médicas & Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología. 01/2010;