In a landmark move, St. George’s University School of Medicine (SGU) has announced the establishment of a new department dedicated to integrating humanities and history of medicine into its MD program. This innovative initiative, led by Dr. Robert Hage and Arlette Herry, aims to equip future doctors with not just technical skills, but also the empathy, communication, and cultural understanding crucial for providing holistic patient care.
Bridging the Science-Humanities Gap
Traditionally, medical education has focused heavily on scientific and technical knowledge. While this foundation is essential, SGU recognizes the importance of fostering well-rounded doctors who can connect with patients on a deeper level. The new department will seamlessly integrate subjects like ethics, medical sociology, literature, and philosophy into the curriculum, exposing students to diverse perspectives and fostering critical thinking skills.
Developing Compassionate Physicians
The integration of humanities will equip future doctors with the ability to better understand patients’ individual experiences, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds. By exploring the historical and social context of medicine, students will gain valuable insights into the evolution of healthcare practices and the complex ethical dilemmas faced by professionals. This holistic approach will ultimately lead to the development of more compassionate and patient-centered physicians.
Building on Existing Strengths
The new department builds upon SGU’s existing commitment to fostering well-rounded graduates. The Division of Narrative Medicine, an established program within the school, uses storytelling to enhance students’ communication and empathy skills. Additionally, the ELSI Congress, an annual event, brings together experts from diverse fields to discuss ethical, legal, and social issues in medicine.
More Than Textbooks
“We believe that future doctors need to be more than just scientists,” says Dr. Robert Hage, co-director of the new department while addressing the press. “By integrating humanities and history of medicine, we are equipping our students with the tools to become compassionate, culturally competent, and ethical physicians who can truly understand and serve their patients.”
This initiative by SGU is a significant step towards transforming medical education and producing the next generation of well-rounded doctors who are prepared to meet the evolving needs of patients in a globalized world.