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Development of a Medical Humanities Program at Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1992-2003

Murray, Jock MD

Special Theme Article: Canada

The Medical Humanities Program at Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine in Nova Scotia, Canada, was initiated in 1992 to incorporate the medical humanities into the learning and experiences of medical students. The goal of the program was to gain acceptance as an integral part of the medical school. The program assumed a broad concept of the medical humanities that includes medical history, literature, music, art, multiculturalism, philosophy, epistemology, theology, anthropology, professionalism, history of alternative therapies, writing, storytelling, health law, international medicine, and ethics. Phase I of the program has provided the same elective and research opportunities in the medical humanities that are available to the students in clinical and basic sciences, and has encouraged and legitimized the involvement of the humanities in the life and learning of the medical student through a wide array of programs and activities. Phase II will focus on further incorporation of the humanities into the curriculum. Phase III will be the development of a graduate program in medical humanities to train more faculty who will incorporate the humanities into their teaching and into the development of education programs.

Dr. Murray is professor of Medical Humanities, Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, and director of the Dalhousie MS Research Unit, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. From 1985 to 1992, Dr. Murray was the dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. Murray, Medical Humanities Program, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, 5849 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 4H7; telephone: (902) 494-2514; fax: (902) 494-2074; e-mail: 〈jock.murray@dal.ca〉.

More information on this program can be found at 〈www.dme.dal.ca/humanities/〉.

© 2003 Association of American Medical Colleges