The Healer’s Art course is offered to first year students in the winter. It was designed by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., and is offered at more than 90 medical schools in the United States. The course’s innovative educational strategy is based on a discovery model, and draws on tested approaches and theories from such fields as humanistic psychology, formational theory and cognitive and Jungian psychology.
In 2002, the course was featured in the U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools issue as an example of excellence in medical education.
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 healthcare system. Numerous surveys document the difficulties physicians are having in maintaining a sense of personal and professional satisfaction in their work and maintaining an ongoing commitment to the profession. Rates of physician dropout are presently climbing nationwide. Among medical educators, the question of how to stress-proof students to meet the challenges of practice has become urgent.
Meaning is the antecedent of commitment. The pressures of contemporary practice may require us to broaden our customary educational objectives and goals, to help students develop the capacity to find meaning lifelong in the same systematic way we now foster the skills to maintain a current knowledge base and technical expertise. The course enables the formation of a community of inquiry between students and faculty. It takes a highly innovative, interactive, contemplative and didactic approach to enabling students to perceive the personal and universal meaning in their daily experience of medicine.
Although this is a noncredit course (not enough hours for an elective), students who complete the course have a letter signed by the course directors in their file for incorporation in their Medical Student Performance Evaluation.
Dr. Dean Parmelee, Co-Director
Dr. Evangeline Andarsio, Co-Director
Dr. S. Bruce Binder, Co-Director
Dr. John Donnelly, Co-Director
The Healer’s Art in the News
There are five sessions for the class, each lasting from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m.
- Session One: “Discovering and Nurturing Your Wholeness”
- Session Two: “Sharing Grief and Honoring Loss”
- Session Three: “Group Conversation”
- Session Four: “Beyond Analysis: Allowing Awe in Medicine”
- Session Five: “The Care of the Soul: Service as a Way of Life”
The faculty for The Healer's Art at Boonshoft School of Medicine are either on the school's full-time or clinical faculty and represent the following specialties: family medicine, psychiatry, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics or internal medicine. Most are busy practitioners and make the serious commitment to teach in the course because of their devotion to the next generation of physicians. They are also involved in the area's Finding Meaning in Medicine program.