Abstract

Background: The goals of medical humanities education are to foster students' perspectives on human experience and develop competences for humane medical care. The existing approaches face limitations such as irrelevance to real-life situations and few opportunities for patient contact during the preclinical years. To facilitate students' personal and professional growth, the instructor sought to develop experiential learning approaches in an integrated medical humanities course, ”Revelations of Cancer.” This paper: (1) introduces these innovative teaching methods; (2) reports on students' learning experiences; and (3) discusses the implications of these teaching experiences. Materials and Methods: Inspired by adult learning theory, we implemented three teaching methods: multi-site field trips, case studies using critical incident technique and interview projects. Thirty-eight undergraduate students from different health science-related majors took the course in Spring 2010. Students' learning experiences were assessed through independent observations, student questionnaires and qualitative analysis of students' reflection notes. Results: Based on thirty students' evaluation feedback (79% response rate), when asked which professional competences they felt the course had enhanced, 93% of respondents cited altruism and 76% cited interpersonal relationships. Asked which teaching methods were effective, 77% respondents cited case studies using critical incident technique and 70% cited field trips. These and other student learning outcomes won this course a ranking among the top four of 100 projects evaluated by the Ministry of Education in spring 2010 for Excellent Humanities Course awards. Conclusion: The ”Revelations of Cancer” curriculum developed learning methods that improve upon existing approaches to medical humanities education. Our teaching results indicated that case studies via critical incident technique and multi-site field trips were the most effective learning methods. Student evaluations affirmed that these learning approaches are useful in providing learning materials relevant to life experiences and clinical settings, as well as for enhancing students' altruism and interpersonal relationship skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Journal醫學教育
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • medical humanities education
  • critical incident technique
  • curriculum development

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