New WCM-Q certificate program demonstrates value of Medical Humanities for healthcare professionals
The value of studying the Medical Humanities and the arts for healthcare professionals was explored in a newly launched online certificate program now being offered by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s (WCM-Q) Division of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
The six-week long online program emphasized that exposure to Medical Humanities helps healthcare professionals to gain enhanced insight into the patient-clinician relationship and appreciation of the important role narrative competence plays in the practice of medicine and self-care. Named the Certificate in Medical Humanities, the program is believed to be the only one of its kind available in the Gulf region. It will now be run on an annual basis, taking place each summer.
The innovative new program is directed and delivered by Dr. Krystyna Golkowska, professor of English, and Dr. Aicha Hind Rifai, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry. The first instalment of the course comprised of four modules, which covered the educational goals of Medical Humanities, the role of narrative medicine in patient-centered models of care, and the therapeutic value of the arts and humanities in terms of the lived experiences of healthcare practitioners.
the challenges and opportunities offered by narrative medicine, the therapeutic value of the arts and humanities, the educational goals of the Medical Humanities in terms of the lived experiences of healthcare practitioners, and the role of the arts and humanities in patient-centered models of care. The program also discussed the challenges of incorporating the Medical Humanities into medical education and medical practice, and the capacity of the Medical Humanities to improve physicians’ well-being and self-care.
Dr. Golkowska, who teaches the first-year writing seminar on WCM-Q’s pre-medical curriculum said: “There is a growing appreciation and understanding that exposure to the arts and humanities helps medical professionals to develop empathy, resilience and tolerance of ambiguity, all of which are crucial in their work, particularly in their interactions with patients. This program provided a strong foundation of knowledge for healthcare professionals to help them understand the value of the humanities and the arts in medical education and clinical practice.”
The program employs a blended learning model in which synchronous sessions introduce the topics of the course’s four asynchronous modules that participants then complete via an online platform in their own time. During the synchronous sessions, the participants heard from the expert instructors before having the chance to engage in lively group discussions and Q&A sessions.
Throughout the course, the participants were asked to work on a paper to present on the final day to share what they had learned from the sessions and discuss their own insights and experiential knowledge related to healthcare delivery and the Medical Humanities.
Dr. Thurayya Arayssi, professor of clinical medicine and vice dean for academic and curricular affairs, said: “This exciting and unique new program provides a highly effective platform for exploring and making sense of the humanistic aspects of medicine and healthcare which underpin and give meaning to the profession. Through study and enjoyment of the Medical Humanities and the arts, healthcare professionals develop a body of knowledge and experience that helps them build stronger relationships with patients, which in turn leads to better healthcare outcomes.”
The event was accredited locally by the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Healthcare Professions – Accreditation Section and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).