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The doctor as a humanist

13 Ottobre 2017 @ 8:00 - 14 Ottobre 2017 @ 17:00

In a recent book on Medical Humanities (Cole et al., 2015), the authors explain how the humanities can contribute to “cultivating personality, intellectual curiosity, emotional honesty, social awareness, and the exercise of sound judgement and moral imagination – virtues and skills indispensable to good doctoring”.

Likewise, our global project aims to reintroduce this humanistic vision to medical education, and thus to counteract the ever-increasing over-dependence on technology. It hopes to teach future medical doctors that a balance between the “scientific” and the “humanistic” is essential for their future medical careers. They will be treating humans and thus need to know as many aspects as possible of what it means to be human in the twenty first century. This project believes that the teaching of works of literature will help them towards this goal.

Our first step towards this goal is the organisation of an International Symposium,  which will be held the 13th and 14th of October 2017 at COMIB, Palma de Mallorca.

The aim of the symposium, which is embedded in a wider pedagogic project, is to further develop ways to include the humanities in the medical curriculum and to hopefully begin the design of a more established curriculum element (e.g. a student selected component or an intercalated degree) to be implemented and evaluated in the next Project Phase.

The project

Symposium Provisional programme

An Introduction to the Project on Medical Humanities

8:30 – Registration 
8:45 – Official Opening

Patricia Gomez, Local Health Minister (Balearic Islands)

Dr Macia Tomas (Royal Academy of Medicine, Balearic Islands)

Dr Alfonso Ballesteros (Patronato Científico, COMIB)

Introduction – Jonathan McFarland (Sechenov University, Moscow

9:15/10:45 – Medical Education and Humanities

Chair: Dr Joaquim Gea 

(Each speaker – 15 mins)

Professor Wendy Reid (Director of Education, Health Education England) –

The state of medical education in England; can Humanities help?”

Professor Trevor Gibbs (Association Medical Education Europe) –

“From Learning to practice: The importance of effective evaluation”

Professor Manuel Pera (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)–

The “human viewpoint” as a teaching tool to counterbalance the “technological

excess in the training of future physicians. A positive experience”

Dr Lester Liao –“Our story: How worldviews enchant the world of medicine”

10:15/10:45 – DEBATE + DISCUSSION

10:50/11:00 – Video Message – “The View from Siberia 1 –  

Oksana Gavrilyuk (Professor V.F. Voino-Yasenetsky Krasnoyarsk State Medical University Krasnoyarsk, Russia)

11:00/12:45 – Arts and Medicine

Chair – Annalisa Manca  (Each speaker – 15 mins)

Professor Tim Dornan (Queen’s University, Belfast) “Taking people to better places. Music and health

Assoc. Professor Margaret Chisolm (Johns Hopkins University)“Bedside Education in the Art of Medicine”              

Dr Ian Walsh (Queen’s University, Belfast) –“Human Beings Being Human

Dr Satendra Singh (University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi) – “Reviving humanism in Medicine through the ABCDE paradigm”

12:00/12:45 – DEBATE + DISCUSSION

12:50 – Video Message – “The View from Siberia 2

 Dr Ivan Shirinsky (Novosibirsk, Russia) 

13:00 – Working Lunch

13:50 – Video Message – Why Medicine needs Poetry , Dr Danielle Ofri (New York University School of Medicine)

14:00/15:30 – Literature and Medicine

Chair – Professor Irina Markovina  (Each speaker – 15 mins)

Professor Brian Hurwitz (King’s College, London) – “How a twentieth-century photo-roman speaks to the Health Humanities”

Dr Jacek Mostwin (Johns Hopkins University) – “Ways of living the medical life: physician memoir and biography as a resource for the rest of us”

Dr Sabah Husein (McGill University) “Humanist Medicine in historical perspective: from Ibn Khaldun to Chris Giannon”

Dr Manuela Vianna Boeira (The Federal University of Rio Grande de Sul, Brazil) – “Understanding Bipolar Disorder and Neuroprogression through Virginia Woolf: An overview”

15:00/15:30 – DEBATE + DISCUSSION

16:00 – Committee Round up of the day’s sessions and discussion 

18:00/19:00 – Tour of Palma Cathedral

20:30 – Dinner for speakers and organizers



9:00 – Coffee and informal welcome

9:15 – 

Dr Marcos Nadal ( University of the Balearic Islands)


9:45/11:45  Hackathon

Can the Humanities transform 21st Century Medicine?

A Hackathon is a term originating from the world of computer   programming, hence the portmanteau formed from “hacker” and “marathon”. However, it is now used in many more fields, and basically it is any event where people come together (probably from different disciplines and with different backgrounds) to come up with solutions to problems/ questions posed.

In our Hackathon, we use the themes that emerged from Friday’s Sessions (Medical Education and Humanities, Arts and Medicine, Literature and Medicine) as the basis for the topics discussed in the groups, which will be made up of plenary speakers, students and symposium attendees.

To some extent, the hackathon will also be aiming to lead the direction of the future The Doctor as a Humanist Project.

11:30 – 12:30 – Groups present their Hackathon Results

12:30/13:15 – Brainstorm and debate about The Doctor as a Humanist project

13:15/13:30 – 

– Organizing Committee conclude meeting with opinions and take home messages

– Explain the future proposals for The Doctor as a Humanist Project

13:30/14:00 – CONCERT and APERITIF – Balearic Symphony Orchestra Classical Quintet

Students will be attending from the following Universities

  • Sechenov University, Moscow
  • Queen’s University, Belfast
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
  • Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Krasnoyarsk Medical University, Russia
  • UIB (Universitat de Islas Baleares)

The symposium is OPEN TO EVERYBODY who is interested in learning more about the Medical Humanities

For more information, and if you wish to register (limited numbers), please send a mail to: Jonathan McFarland –


13 Ottobre 2017 @ 8:00
14 Ottobre 2017 @ 17:00
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