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APRIL 9 - APRIL 10, 2022

Medical Humanities in the Middle East Online


In order to develop more human-oriented physicians and to understand more fully the human dimension of disease, the emerging fields of medical and health humanities are increasingly being integrated into medical education internationally. In addition, artists, philosophers, writers and other humanists continue to contemplate and draw inspiration from the human body and the experience of illness. These interdisciplinary efforts attempt to address the sociological, economic, philosophical and ethical issues that doctors, patients, families and society at large must face which go beyond the more technical aspects of medicine such as diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutics. A growing evidence base indicates that humanistic approaches to healthcare improve patient outcomes, contribute to better compliance and better provider-patient relations, and reduce medical error and liability. In addition, Expressive Arts Therapies, such as Music, Art, Narrative, and Play Therapies, use the arts themselves as a healing practice.

According to Rabie E. Abdel-Halim and Khaled M. AlKattan of Alfaisal and King Saud Universities in Riyadh, “it is very crucial to strike a harmonious balance between the two major branches of knowledge; namely, natural sciences and technology in one hand and social sciences and humanities in the other. The importance of striking a harmonious balance is increasingly felt to match with the growing detrimental effects of the already well-established and strong-rooted materialism. We have to be able to produce not only [medical] graduates with great mental and intellectual capability but also with strong emotional and spiritual stability.”

The conference will bring together researchers, educators, students and practitioners to help define and share best practices in the medical humanities in the Middle East and North Africa region. Currently many of the medical humanities curricula and initiatives are based on western practices, and more discussions are needed to imagine what human-centered health systems might look like in Muslim-majority countries in which religion and traditional values play such a key role.

As Halil Tekiner of Erciyes University School of Pharmacy in Kayseri, Turkey argues, concepts “such as autonomy and truth telling may clash with non-Western cultural mores; and attitudes toward end-of-life care, abortion, and genetic engineering may differ across cultures. … incorporating local experiences in medical humanities courses will also help students to recognize and appropriately address some culture-specific bias that occurs in health care delivery in their own countries.”

Qualitative and quantitative research, case studies, country reports, full sessions, thought papers, and theoretical papers are welcome. Creative submissions (for example, readings of narrative medicine fiction or poetry) will also be considered. The conference language is English. Posters will be displayed on the website and full details on poster preparation will be posted shortly. All abstracts will be blind peer reviewed and published in an indexed proceedings by HBKU Press

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline: 15 February 2022
Notification of Acceptance: 1 March 2022

Registration Deadline: 1 April 2022

Conference Online: 9-10 April 2022