Medical Humanities In Medical Schools

Willy F. Maramis


The reflections on education by John W. Alexander and UNESCO (United Nations Educatiol, Scientific and Cultural Organization), show that a “good doctor” and a medical specialist (including a psychiatrist), must not only be competent in empathic communication, clinical knowledge and clinical skills, but more so in humanities (especially in morals, ethics and bioethics) and soft skills. Humanities and soft skills education is therefore very important in medical schools. The main objectives in humanities education are mainly in the affective domain. Relevant and effective learning experiences must therefore be provided. For this, small group discussions is at present the most effective one, is not so difficult to do and also financially affordable. There is an added beneficial effect, this is that the fasilitators will also experience an enrichment in moral development. A model of a humanities curriculum and of a moral dilemma discussion group is presented. There are no principal differences between morals, ethics or bioethics education for undergraduates and that for residents (including psychiatric residents), only the moral dilemma cases may be adjusted to the level of education and more specific to the specialty.

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