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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.

Logo for the Fundamental Role of Arts and Humanities in Medical Education

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. 

Get monthly updates about FRAHME

The monthly AAMC FRAHME newsletter is for anyone interested in learning more about integrating arts and humanities into medical education.


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.


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 the 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 for 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. The Guide provides specific ideas and examples for integrating the arts and humanities into competency-based medical education as well as general guidance on logistics such as finding partners, selecting material and connecting with others.

Read the Getting Started Guide

Grants Program

The AAMC has awarded eight $25,000 grants to U.S.-based member medical schools and teaching hospitals working on arts and humanities programs. These grantees will evaluate the impact of existing integrative arts and humanities programs or curricula across the continuum of medical education (undergraduate, graduate, continuing medical education). 

Read about the Awardees

Scoping Review

The AAMC commissioned a scoping review of arts and humanities in medical education that has resulted in three articles:

Weaving Humanities and Arts into the Fabric of Medicine

In December 2021, the AAMC collaborated with the National Academics of Science, Engineering and Medicine to host a virtual event on the unique and valuable role the arts and humanities can play in medicine, medical education, and clinician wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event featured a tapestry of activities and demonstrations that showcase current, integrative arts and humanities approaches to teaching and learning in medicine.

Watch the Recording

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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