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Medical Humanities at New York University School of Medicine: An Array of Rich Programs in Diverse Settings

Krackov, Sharon K. EdD; Levin, Richard I. MD; Catanese, Veronica MD; Rey, Mariano MD; Aull, Felice PhD, MA; Blagev, Denitza MD; Dreyer, Benard MD; Grieco, Anthony J. MD; Hebert, Cristy MA; Kalet, Adina MD, MPH; Lipkin, Mack Jr. MD; Lowenstein, Jerome MD; Ofri, Danielle MD, PhD; Stevens, David MD

Special Theme Article: United States

The New York University School of Medicine has a rich tradition of cultivating programs in medical humanities and professionalism. They are drawn from the departments, centers, students, and faculty in the School of Medicine, have linkages throughout the university, and are interwoven into the fabric and culture of the institution. Some are centrally based in the School of Medicine’s deans’ office, and others are located in individual departments and receive support from the dean’s office. This article describes representative programs for medical students and faculty. Curricular initiatives, the fundamental components of medical students’ learning, include a course entitled “The Physician, Patient, and Society,” a clerkship essay in the Medicine Clerkship, an opportunity for reflection during the medicine clerkship, and a medical humanities elective. In 2002, the Professionalism Initiative was launched to enhance and reflect the values of the medical profession. Its curriculum consists of a series of events that coordinate, particularly, with existing elements of the first-year curriculum (e.g., orientation week, a session during anatomy, a self-assessment workshop, and a peer-assessment workshop). The Master Scholars Program is a group of five, theme-based master societies consisting of faculty and students who share common interests around the society’s themes. Programs developed for the societies include colloquia, faculty-led seminars, a mandatory student-mentoring program, and visiting scholars. Finally, the authors describe three high-quality literary publications created at New York University School of Medicine. Each of the initiatives undergoes regular critical examination and reflection that drive future planning.

Dr. Krackov is associate professor of psychiatry and director, Advanced Educational Programs; Dr. Levin is professor of medicine and vice dean for faculty and academic affairs; Dr. Catanese is associate professor of medicine and cell biology and senior associate dean for education; Dr. Rey is assistant professor of medicine and senior associate dean for student affairs; Dr. Aull is associate professor of physiology and neuroscience and director, Medical Humanities Electives, and editor-in-chief, Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database (see page 1054 for a piece by Dr. Aull on the Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database); Dr. Blagev is a member of the NYU Class of 2003 and founder/editor of Agora; now a first-year resident in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Dr. Dreyer is associate professor of pediatrics, associate chair, Department of Pediatrics, and director, Physician, Patient, and Society; Dr. Grieco is professor of medicine, associate dean for alumni relations, and associate chair for education, Department of Medicine; Ms. Hebert is director, Master Scholars Program; Dr. Kalet is assistant professor of medicine, and faculty advisor of the professionalism program; Dr. Lipkin is professor of medicine and director, Division of Primary Care; Dr. Lowenstein is professor of medicine, unit leader for the patient narrative unit of Patient, Physician, and Society, and director, Humanistic Aspects of Medicine; Dr. Ofri is assistant professor of medicine, and editor-in-chief of Bellevue Literary Review; Dr. Stevens is clinical assistant professor of medicine and director of Physician, Patient, and Society; all at the New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York.

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. Krackov, Director, Advanced Educational Programs, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016; telephone: (212) 263-2196; fax: (212) 725-2140; e-mail: 〈〉. Information about the authors is at the end of the article.

For more information, visit the program’s Web site at 〈〉.

The author acknowledges the assistance and editorial support of Stephanie Pieczenik, Master Scholars Program.

© 2003 Association of American Medical Colleges