The Informal “Track” in Medical Humanities/Arts
GOALS. The goal of the Program in Medical Humanities & Arts is to increase empathy and compassionate understanding among medical students and residents towards patients, colleagues, and self through the development of self-reflective processes and skills of interpersonal observation and interpretation.
HONORS and AWARDS. Students who complete several components of the informal medical humanities/arts track described below are eligible to be considered for:
- Graduation with distinction in humanities/arts, a designation for students who have participated in a range of humanities/arts-based activities and produced a significant body of original artistic work related to medicine over the course of their medical school studies
- The UC Irvine School of Medicine Arts and Humanities Award, recognizing a student who has excelled in humanities/arts during medical school
INFORMAL “TRACK” in MEDICAL HUMANITIES/ARTS. For students interested in using the humanities and arts to understand more about their medical school experience, the patient’s experience of illness, and the doctor-patient relationship, the following specific options are available:
- Gross Anatomy 2-part creative project (optional): Two “beginning-end” creative projects using any artistic medium that explore the student’s experience of anatomy and/or his/her relationship to the cadaver
- Literature and medicine elective (“Doctors’ Stories/ Patients’ Stories”) (transcript notation elective): a 10 session class that looks at various psychosocial topics in medicine through the poetry and prose of doctors and patients
- Reflective/creative writing elective (transcript notation elective): A more intensive, small group elective for students who wish to continue to explore their medical school experience through reflective writing, complemented by more in-depth study of first person physician and patient narratives
Years 1,2, and 4: Plexus, the UC Irvine-SOM journal of arts & humanities. Students may serve on the editorial board of the journal, and as editor-in-chief in Year 2.
- Pediatrics clerkship creative project: A creative project completed during the Pediatric clerkship using any artistic medium that examines student/patient/family issues that occur on pediatrics.
- Internal medicine clerkship: Telling stories about patients session.
- Ob-Gyn clerkship: Written assignment on an ethical patient care dilemma
- Family Medicine clerkship: Medical readers’ theater experience; culture in medicine reflection session
For your participation in these activities to be considered toward a graduation with distinction designation, you must write 250 words for each activity that addresses the following question: How did this experience affect who you are and who you are becoming as a doctor?
- Humanities/Arts Research elective (2-4 week credit): Students interested in more in-depth exposure to medical humanities may undertake a humanities/arts-based research project in which they investigate a particular topic in medicine from a humanities/arts perspective; and produce a final report.
- Art of Doctoring elective (2 week credit): This elective focuses on helping students sustain and deepen attitudes of compassion and empathy toward patients, colleagues, and self. The elective includes a reflective writing requirement, as well as a creative project option.