Incorporating humanities into the surgical curriculum
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Incorporating Humanities into the Surgical Curriculum. Karen J. Brasel MD, Amy J. Leisten BA , Robert Treat PhD, Brian Lewis MD, Cynthianne Morgenweck MD, Bruce Campbell MD, Nancy Havas MD, Julia Uihlein MA, Arthur R. Derse MD, JD Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI. Background.

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Incorporating humanities into the surgical curriculum

Incorporating Humanities into the Surgical Curriculum

Karen J. Brasel MD, Amy J. Leisten BA, Robert Treat PhD, Brian Lewis MD, Cynthianne Morgenweck MD, Bruce Campbell MD, Nancy Havas MD, Julia Uihlein MA, Arthur R. Derse MD, JD

Medical College of Wisconsin

Milwaukee, WI


Background
Background

  • Loss of empathy during medical school

  • Reflective experiences concentrated in nonprocedural clerkships or electives


Background1
Background

  • July 2009, students on the surgical clerkship were creative option in lieu of 25% of required histories and physicals.

  • Requirement: relate to something the student experienced during the clerkship.

  • Students shared their projects at the end of the rotation and completed evaluations of the creative session.


Objective
Objective

  • To analyze the impact of the creative option on student performance.


Methods
Methods

  • Project themes were categorized using a grounded theory approach.

  • Residency specialty choice was categorized as procedural/nonprocedural.

  • ANOVA was used to determine effect on clerkship grades.

    • specialty choice

    • participation in project


Results
Results

  • 388 students during 3 year period

    • 143 students participated in creative project

      • No participation difference by rotation or year

    • 300 non-procedural


Results format
Results--Format

  • poems

  • additional writing forms

  • mixed media

  • baked goods

  • performances

  • painting/drawing


Results themes
Results--Themes

  • anatomy and physiology

  • specific procedures

  • patient as person

  • student role

  • death

  • physician responsibilities

  • reflection on career choice

  • surgery as a specialty


Results1
Results

Soap and WaterThe first scrub is best,peeling open the sponge whilea high-pitched rush of watersplashes into the stainless sink.My mind empties, meditative,counting rapid brush strokesunder every nail, over every plane.The bristles are soft and harsh, simultaneously.This is the cleanest I feel all day.


Results specialty
Results--Specialty

*Mean score differences determined by two-factor (specialty x project) ANOVA

*No statistically significant interaction between specialty and project


Results project
Results--Project

After accounting for specialty choice, NO differences in any outcome

by project participation


Results survey evaluation
Results—Survey evaluation

  • Offered learning not included in the standard curriculum:

    • to better see their patients as whole persons—79% strongly agree

    • to learn something new or important about themselves--72% strongly agree

    • to learn something new or important about their patients--63% strongly agree

  • Overwhelming agreement that the creative option should be continued (94%).


Summary
Summary

  • Clerkship experience for a wide variety of students

    • First experience with death

  • Creative option provides a valuable learning experience

  • Positively reviewed by students

  • No impact on overall grade


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