For inquiries about the Consortium for Humanities, Ethics & Professionalism (CHEP), email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHEP's Purpose: To illustrate the central themes of the consortium initiatives and provide ideas and resources for integrating humanities, ethics, and professionalism into PT curricula.
We believe scholarship focusing on the “art of physical therapy” and the “lived experience” of the patient is needed. Further, we advocate that a course correction is needed to embrace all three pillars of evidence- based practice with equipoise.
The educational community needs to be intentional in the cultivation of humanistic values in the professional curricula. In 1976, a Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ editorial stated, “… the choice between the arts or science represents a false and dangerous dichotomy. In many aspects of the doctor and patient relationship, the knowledge and understanding of drama, literature, and philosophy can greatly help understanding.”1,2 As Johanna Shapiro points out, “[Medicine] is a kind of a renaissance profession in that it really requires all of the brain, all of the heart, all of the soul, and you can’t get that only through science.”3
The inclusion of the humanistic values into healthcare practices addresses perspectives from the patient, clinician, and educators with overlapping intentions.
- For patients, the avenues of the humanities often provide a means of self-care to promote health and resiliency, giving a space for well-being of body, soul, and mind.
- Clinicians with a foundation in humanities may design treatment strategies better addressing the holistic needs of patients.
- In addition, such a clinician may find a personal outlet in aspects of the humanities to balance the emotional demands of patient care.
- Lastly, embedding the humanistic values into student education leads to improvement of observation skills, empathy, communication, and self-reflection, each of which facilitates patient-centered care and positive outcomes.3-5 Humanities education may provide students with an approach to develop self-care strategies and resiliency as they face the many negative consequences of dealing with illness day in and day out.3, 5
The interplay of professionalism, humanities, and ethics should be recognizably tight. We believe the consummate professional clinician is indeed the renaissance clinician.
To educate toward excellence and expert practice, we need to instill the ability to make judgment in uncertain conditions. With exposure to elements of humanism embedded into curricula, students are enabled to think from multiple viewpoints.
Operational definition of the humanities:
"Attention to the humanities in physical therapy education helps to develop and nurture skills of observation, analysis, empathy and self-reflection. The humanities are those disciplines that explore and seek to understand the meaning of 'being a human being' in the world."
- Editorial. The arts as aids to learning. Journal of Royal College of General Practitioners. 1976;26:555-559.
- Fieschi L, Matarese M, Vellone E, Alvaro R, De Marinis MG. Medical humanities in healthcare education in Italy: a literature review. Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2013;49(1):56-64.
- Krisberg K. Humanities program helps medical students see through a patient's eyes. 2014; https://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/may2014/380438/humanities.html, 2016.
- Dennhardt S, Apramian T, Lingard L, Torabi N, Arntfield S. Rethinking research in the medical humanities: a scoping review and narrative synthesis of quantitative outcome studies. Med Educ. 2016;50(3):285-299.
- Macnaughton J. The humanities in medical education: context, outcomes and structures. Med Humanit. 2000;26(1):23-30.
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