ELEC 5060: The Healer’s Art: Awakening The Heart of Medicine

Course Directors: Kana Kornsawad, MD and Christine Andre, MD

This course is an enrichment elective for first year medical students during the spring semester and second year medical students during the fall semester.  Contact hours: 20

The Healer’s Art addresses the hidden crisis in medicine, the growing loss of meaning and commitment experienced by physicians nationwide under the stresses of today’s health-care system. Overall goal is to provide support for students in recognizing, valuing, enhancing and preserving the human dimension in health care.

Course Goals:  The Healer’s Art encourages students to:

  • Identify, strengthen, and cultivate the human dimensions of the practice of medicine
  • Recognize the commonality of personal concerns among their peers and gain support for personal development from peers and faculty
  • Accept the universality of loss and pain and
  • Recognize grief as a self-care strategy for physicians, and identify strategies and tools of grieving
  • Recognize the importance of community for the healing of grief
  • Trust the power of listening and presence to heal others
  • Recognize that who they are is as important to their patients as what they know
  • Recognize and respond to the dimension of Mystery in the practice of medicine
  • Legitimize openness and dialogue with colleagues and patients in the areas of service, mission, and calling

Course Objectives:  Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Make an active commitment to strengthening and preserving their humanity
  • Experience the effects of listening and being listened to generously and compassionately
  • Experience healing relationships with other students
  • Identify effective and ineffective behavioral responses to loss and grief
  • Identify when they first became aware of wanting to serve others
  • Articulate and strengthen a personal commitment to medicine as their life’s work
  • Experience practicing physicians sharing their experiences of loss, grief, mystery, and awe in practicing medicine
  • Witness the unity of commitment of service that lies beneath the diversity of expertise and experience

Session Topics:

1.       Session 1: Discovering and Nurturing Your Wholeness

2.       Session 2: Sharing Grief and Honoring Loss

3.       Session 3: Small Group Discussion on Grief & Loss (continued)

4.       Session 4: Beyond Analysis: Allowing Awe in Medicine

5.       Session 5: The Care of the Soul: Service as a Way of Life