Reaching people through medical humanities: An initiative

Department of Pathology, Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, Delhi, India.
Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions 05/2011; 8:5. DOI: 10.3352/jeehp.2011.8.5
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    • "Medical humanities based programmes are common in the medical schools of United States, Australia and Europe either as a part of the curriculum or as a voluntary module710. However, the concept of medical humanities is relatively new to Asia. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background & objectives: The field of medical education in our country remains deeply fragmented and polarised between the biomedical technical domains which are overrepresented and the humanitarian domains which are under-represented within the universe of medical pedagogy. To overcome this imbalance, we designed a module that integrates the two domains in a holistic biomedical and socio-cultural framework with the objective of providing unified field of learning experience to the undergraduate medical students attending rotatory clinical postings in a medical college in New Delhi, India. Methods: Undergraduate medical students of 6th and 8th semesters were enrolled in humanities based study module (HSM) on voluntary basis for a total duration of six months. During their compulsory rotatory medicine ward posting, they were introduced and exposed to learning bedside experience of HSM with various tools of art and literature in the form of poem, short narratives, paintings, sketches and group discussions to express their feelings about patients’ sufferings. Students’ feed-back was recorded through an anonymized questionnaire. Result: Of the 235 students, 223 (95%) enrolled themselves voluntarily and 94 per cent (210 of 223) of them completed the total six month duration of the study module. Seventy three per cent of the students found HSM effective in improving their affective motivational behavior, 82 per cent found it effective in motivating them to learn more about core medical subjects, and 85 per cent wanted its continuation as part of medical curriculum. Interpretation & conclusions: The positive response of the students towards the HSM was an indicator of the potential for integrating the module within the undergraduate medical curriculum.
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    ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of arts-based interventions in medical education is well documented(1) but the development of medical humanities in Southeast Asia is a relatively recent phenomenon.(2 3) The University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, was the first Indian medical school to introduce medical humanities to its staff and students. A Medical Humanities Group was founded in 2009 and membership was open to all. 4 Initial activities were directed towards sharing literature, with a bias towards Indian culture, including poetry in Hindi. In the inaugural year, student-led lunchtime meetings were attended by faculty. In the second year, there was a series of lectures by eminent guest speakers, in the form of a colloquium, called 'Confluence'. The idea was to provide a forum to discuss art and medicine as a whole.(5) As a result of these discussions, the group decided they wanted to work on the street theatre-based project described in this case study.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Medical Humanities
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    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions
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