What is the Role of the Arts in Medical Education and Patient Care? A Survey-based Qualitative Study

Journal of Medical Humanities 39 (4):431-445 (2018)
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Abstract

To inform medical education reform efforts, we systematically collected information on the level of arts and humanities engagement in our medical school community. Attitudes regarding incorporating arts and humanities-based teaching methods into medical education and patient care were also assessed. An IRB-approved survey was electronically distributed to all faculty, residents, fellows, and students at our medical school. Questions focused on personal practice of the arts and/or humanities, as well as perceptions of, and experience with formally incorporating these into medical teaching. Of 13,512 community members surveyed, 2,775 responded. A majority of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that medical education and patient care could be "enhanced" by the integration of the arts. There was enthusiastic support for the creation of a formal program in the arts at our medical school. Integration of the arts into medical education may have a role in improving the quality of medical training and would likely be well received by teachers and learners.

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