Narrative medicine describes the application of story to medical education and practice. Although it has been implemented successfully in many medical schools as a part of undergraduate medical education, applications to the residency environment have been relatively limited. There are virtually no data concerning the adoption of narrative medicine within surgical residencies. This paper provides a brief introduction to the formal discipline of narrative medicine. We further discuss how storytelling is already used in surgical education and summarize the literature on applications of narrative medicine to residents in other specialties. The relevance of narrative medicine to the ACGME core competencies is explored. We conclude with specific suggestions for implementation of narrative medicine within surgical residency programs. [abstract]
Medical humanities are becoming increasingly recognized as positively impacting medical education and medical practice. However, the extent of medical humanities teaching in medical schools is largely unknown. We reviewed medical school curricula in Canada, the UK and the US. We also explored the relationship between medical school ranking and the inclusion of medical humanities in the curricula. [abstract]
This narrative review aims to identify and review the extant literature describing methods and outcomes of embedding the arts and humanities (AH) into medical school curricula. The Association of American Medical Colleges changed the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in 2015 to place new emphasis on the role of liberal arts in the process of developing well-rounded physicians. Consequently, medical schools have been implementing more connections to creative writing, literature, theater, movies, music, and the visual arts into their curricula. To review the current literature, we focused on methods medical educators used to embed content related to AH into their curricula to shape and drive associated learning outcomes. We conducted searches in PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and ERIC for peer-reviewed articles from 2011 to 2020. The authors selected three dyads in medical humanities and reviewed articles independently followed by discussion to identify thematic links to major findings. Out of 261 articles, a total of 177 full-text articles were reviewed with 34 selected for final inclusion. Our review included articles describing curriculum development and delivery in publications from Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and the USA. This review showed medical educators are implementing didactic and experiential instructional approaches to embedding the arts, humanities, and social sciences into the medical school classroom. Medical educators' attempts to embed AH into medical school curricula show promising results. Unfortunately, small sample sizes, short-term interventions, and an over-reliance of subjective assessment measures limit our knowledge of the true impact of these interventions. More rigorous assessments of required and longitudinal coursework are necessary to know the true impact of participation in AH coursework for medical students. [abstract]
Historically, surgery was developed through the visual work of artist-scientists, yet visual art in modern surgical education is rare. The aim of this review is to evaluate the existing literature of learner creation of visual art as an educational tool in surgery and to discuss its potential in augmenting surgical learning. [abstract]
The arts and humanities have transformative potential for medical education. Realizing this potential requires an understanding of what arts and humanities teaching is and what it aims to do. A 2016 review of exclusively quantitative studies mapped three discursive positions (art as intrinsic to, additive to or curative for medicine) and three epistemic functions (art for mastering skills, perspective taking, and personal growth and activism). A more inclusive sample might offer new insights into the position and function of arts and humanities teaching in medical education.
From the AAMC: Aligning with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s six general competencies, the activities included below were selected for the Getting Started Guide because they can be conducted at low cost with any group of learners, regardless of developmental stage or specialty. The views and opinions expressed in these linked resources do not necessarily reflect those of the AAMC.
The Health Humanities Portrait Approach is an innovative curricular intervention that enables health professions learners to examine pressing social issues that shape, and are shaped by, experiences of health and illness. This patient-centered curricular intervention emphasizes patient experiences of illness, contemporary social problems, and their mutual interaction. It assumes these experiences to be multi-dimensional and therefore harnesses different humanities disciplinary methodologies to explore that complexity. It purposefully challenges learners to examine the dialectic between the personal and the structural forces that impact the human condition.
Without training in how to identify and relieve pain and suffering, surgeons miss opportunities to offer palliative services to patients. Despite explicit calls for expanding palliative care education since the 1990s, palliative care training in surgical curricula is often limited to end-of-life discussions. A growing consensus among palliative care experts suggests that formal palliative care education during surgical training should include structured communication and prognostication tools, strategies for symptom management, and an understanding of palliative care specialists’ role in treating patients at all disease stages.
The humanities have been increasingly incorporated into medical school curricula in order to promote clinical skills and professional formation. To understand its current use, we reviewed the literature on visual arts training in medical education, including relevant qualitative and quantitative data. Common themes that emerged from this review included a focus on preclinical students; instruction promoting observation, diagnostic skills, empathy, team building, communication skills, resilience, and cultural sensitivity. Successful partnerships have involved local art museums, with sessions led primarily by art educators employing validated pedagogy such as Visual Thinking Strategies or Artful Thinking. There is evidence that structured visual arts curricula can facilitate the development of clinical observational skills, although these studies are limited in that they have been single-institution reports, short term, involved small numbers of students and often lacked controls. There is a paucity of rigorous published data demonstrating that medial student art education training promotes empathy, team building, communication skills, wellness and resilience, or cultural sensitivity. Given these concerns, recommendations are offered for fostering more robust, evidence-based approaches for using visual arts instruction in the training of medical students. [abstract]