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The Fundamental Role of Arts and Humanities in Medical Education

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Arts and humanities are essential to the human experience and their benefits to medical education go far beyond joys and pleasures.

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By integrating arts and humanities throughout medical education, trainees and physicians can learn to be better observers and interpreters; and build empathy, communication and teamwork skills, and more.

The AAMC is committed to supporting the integration of arts and humanities.

Through the Fundamental Role of Arts and Humanities in Medical Education (FRAHME), we will provide resources to help medical educators start, develop, and/or improve the use of arts and humanities in their teaching. 

Seeking your stories and poems during these critical times

The AAMC, in partnership with StoryCorps and the National Endowment for the Arts, is collecting stories (both oral and written) and poetry from health care professionals relating to their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic and racism and persistent inequities in America. By chronicling these, we aim to honor our community, provide outlets for creative and expressive thought, and continue to integrate the humanities and the arts in medicine.

To learn more about the submissions, visit the collection of highlighted short stories and poems.

SHARE YOUR STORY

The Fundamental Role of Arts and Humanities in Medical Education monograph

Our monograph, The Fundamental Role of the Arts and Humanities in Medical Education, provides an in-depth overview of role arts and humanities play in educating a physician workforce to meet 21st-century health care needs, including enhancing the patient experience, improving population health, reducing costs, and promoting clinician well-being.

Download the report at the AAMC store

Getting Started Guide with Arts and Humanities in Medical Education

The Getting Started Guide is designed for educators who are new to incorporating arts and humanities into their programs, courses, or curricula and seek to integrate practical activities as they teach the core competencies of medicine. This guide is an intended supplement to The Fundamental Role of the Arts and Humanities in Medical Education, which provides more guidance on how to engage in thoughtful curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation to successfully integrate arts and humanities into medical education.

The Getting Started Guide is broken into two parts:

  • Part 1: Select Activities provides specific ideas and examples for integrating the arts and humanities into competency-based medical education.
  • Part 2: Nuts and Bolts provides general guidance on the logistics of integrating the arts and humanities into teaching, such as finding partners, selecting material and more.

Grants program

The AAMC will award five $25,000 grants (for a period of up to 18 months) to U.S.-based member schools and teaching hospitals working on new, emerging, or existing arts and humanities programs across the continuum of medical education (UME-GME-CME). Applications were due Sept. 15, 2020.  Winners will be announced in December. 

More on arts and humanities in medical education

Focusing on Arts, Humanities to Develop Well-Rounded Physicians

Learning about history, visual and performing arts, and literature can help physicians develop empathy and professionalism.

No joke: The serious role of improv in medicine

Want to be a better doctor? Medical improv transforms goofy theater games into serious skills like empathy, teamwork, and super-quick thinking.

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This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in publications and related programming or products do not necessarily represent those of these organizations.

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National Endowment for the Arts (arts.gov) Logo
National Endowment for the Humanities
Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation
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