Medical Humanities

The Centre for the Humanities and Medicine is pioneering new teaching and learning methods in medicine.

Since 1997, with the introduction of problem-based learning, the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine has been at the forefront of medical education reform. Today, advances in biomedical sciences, particularly genetics, together with the development of personalised medicine and stem-cell therapies are fundamentally changing the scope and perspectives of medical education and the practice of medicine.

Engaging with these new developments and in line with the University's emphasis on innovation, the Centre is working through a dedicated Task Force in Medical Humanities with the aim of establishing a Medical Humanities syllabus as an integral part of the undergraduate medical curriculum within the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, in addition to formulating Humanities Common Core Curriculum modules by 2012 linked to a University-wide curriculum reform.

The Centre is committed to promoting the cross-listing of humanities modules into the clinical curriculum, and seeks to foster a closer interrelationship between teachers in medicine and the humanities including history, literature, philosophy, sociology, the visual arts, music, religious studies, ethics and the law.

Understanding and alleviating the suffering of patients with chronic illnesses and incurable diseases is often seen as a lower priority compared to the quest for goals such as curing cancer, delaying ageing or reversing neurodegenerative disorders. Given the stressful situations and conditions which healthcare professionals work under, the Medical Humanities programme seeks to empower doctors and nurses with skills to better look after themselves, both physically and mentally. Taken together, the new programme will underscore the importance of human and humane aspects of medical practice which are crucial if medicine and healthcare are to successfully reap the benefits of science and technology.

The aim is to ensure that students are sensitized to the experiences of patients and are able to meet the expectations and demands of society, as well as being taught to the highest ethical and professional standards.

As part of the Frontiers in Medical Health Sciences Education series sponsored by the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Prof LC Chan, who chairs the Centre's Task force in Medical Humanities, was responsible for organizing the international conference Making Doctors Human, 11-13 December 2008.

Medical Humanities in LKS Faculty of Medicine - New Initiatives in Teaching and Learning

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Affiliated body:
- Medical Humanities within the Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit, The University of Hong Kong. Contact details can be found here.

Past Activities:
- (Task force in Medical Humanities) Symposium and photo exhibition - From suffering to well-being on 27 May 2011

- (Task force in Medical Humanities) A taste of Mindfulness was held on 18 and 26 April 2011

- (Task force in Medical Humanities) Theme of Illness, suffering and wellbeing: doctor and patient narratives on 8 April 2011

- (Task force in Medical Humanities) Free Life Flies - The Art and Science of Bereavement: adjustment after death by Dr Amy Chow on 29 March 2011

- (Task force in Medical Humanities) Life Keeper - Arrangement after death: paying tribute and celebrating the life of the deceased on 21 March 2011

- (Task force in Medical Humanities) Life Horizon - The Dying Process: from end-of-life issues to doing no harm and keeping comfortable with dignity on 3 March 2011

- (Task force in Medical Humanities) Theme: Illness, suffering and wellbeing - doctor and patient narratives on 10 January 2011 (2nd film)

- A symposium on Body Films: New Approaches to Medicine and Film was held on 12 July 2010.

News

Development Fund for Medical Humanities
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU

The Development Fund for Medical Humanities (DFMH) is a matching appeal initiated by a donation from Professor SP Chow with an aim to encourage graduates and friends of the Faculty to support initiatives in medical arts and humanities. The campaign, launched in September 2009, has so far attracted over HK$1 million in donations.

Among the projects awarded grants in 2010 were: