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Precourse on Humanities in Medicine

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Developed by APDIM 

The medical humanities, including art, drama, writing, and more, enrich our lives in medicine. Education in the humanities can broaden a learner’s clinical perspective, reinforce the importance of interpersonal communication and connection, and instill a tolerance for ambiguity. This precourse will highlight effective strategies to embed humanities into medical education. Attendees will participate in a variety of experiences that enhance doctoring skills and professional identity formation that can be implemented in their own programs upon completion of this precourse.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this precourse, participants will be able to:

  • Develop skills to utilize humanities in medical education to teach critical doctoring skills, enhance capacity for empathy, and improve physician well-being.
  • Experience humanities programs in medicine across a range of possible applications including narrative medicine, theater, art, and photography.
  • Create a humanities program utilizing concepts and skills to enrich learner professional identity formation.

Target Audience

This precourse is designed for medical educators interested in developing, or expanding, the use of humanities in medical education at their home institutions.

Course Directors

Rachel A. Bonnema, MD, MS
University of Nebraska School of Medicine 

Seonaid F. Hay, MD
Yale School of Medicine 

Preliminary Agenda


7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast, Exhibits, and Alliance Member Center



8:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions




Seonaid F. Hay, MD
Yale School of Medicine 

Rachel A. Bonnema, MD, MS
University of Nebraska College of Medicine



8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Humanities in Medicine


Fred J. Schiffman, MD
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Download presentation



9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Narrative Medicine: Project 6-55 Stories: An Efficient Reflective Writing Workshop for Professional Growth


Kristy Y. Kosub, MD
Krista W. Bowers, MD
University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio
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10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Arts Integrated Curriculum Design: Exploring Photography


Heather Dean, MEd, NBPT
Creative Across the Curriculum
Download presentation



12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.




1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Developing a Humanities Rotation




Gopal Yadavalli, MD
Boston University School of Medicine 

Amanda Clark, MD
University of Mississippi School of Medicine



2:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

All the World’s a Stage: How to Use Improv Comedy Skills to Make Teaching Challenging Conversation Fun




Jennifer Rusiecki, MD
University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences
Pritzker School of Medicine 

Alda Maria Gonzaga, MD
Melissa McNeil, MD
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine