Mandatory for all students in the M1 and M2 Classes
Objective: The Selectives in the Medical Humanities are intended to create a well-rounded physician with a background in the arts as well as the sciences and to foster the development of creative, empathic, and intellectually adaptable physicians who are capable of using their right hemisphere as well as their left. The compilation of courses is meant to provide students with various perspectives and thereby facilitate problem-solving and creativity in multiple arenas.
Employing the arts and the humanities serves multiple purposes. The first is to create physicians who can develop a tolerance for ambiguity, a trait so needed in clinical practice. Second, encountering the experiences of others via the surrogate means of literature, fine art, film, philosophy, etc. allows students to empathize with their patients and colleagues. Third, wisdom is a key feature in decision-making and there are few aspects of a physician more important than possessing the ability to make truly wise decisions. Over the course of our short lives, we may not acquire all the experiences necessary to become wise in and of ourselves but the knowledge accrued in 40,000 years of recorded history provides us a window to the experiences of all those who have gone before us. Fourth, being able to access and develop a different aspect of cognition facilitates problem-solving and creativity in multiple arenas. Those physicians with a humanities background have been noted to surpass their colleagues with science backgrounds even if they do struggle more in the beginning of their training. Musicians (and Albert Einstein) have been noted to have a larger corpus callosum and right/left brain communication is a hallmark of flexible, “out-of-the-box” thinkers. Developing our interests outside of pure information acquisition expands our horizons, providing a buffer to the burnout that many in the medical field face and affording us personal fulfillment.
Selectives are offered on a rotating basis. The selectives will consist of 6 sessions over a semester which will run the fall and spring of each year although different courses may be available during the fall and spring to minimize the burden on our course directors. While most will meet on Friday afternoons from ~1:30-3:30pm), the expansion of the humanities curriculum has allowed the opening of additional time slots. All selective require approximately the same time commitment.
Applied Medical Ethics
Art of Observation
Dance and Medicine
Death, Dying, and Bereavement
Exploring Medicine through Composition
Observational Drawing for Future Physicians
Opera and Medicine
Social Determinants of Health
Social Mission of Medical Schools
Theater and the Role of Role-playing
World Cultures and Dance
Writing to Persuade and Convince
Elizabeth Cerceo, MD