MED 10Q: Literature, Medicine, & Empathy
Instructor: Shaw, J
In recent years, there has been a groundswell of interest in empathy as a key competency of the emotionally intelligent, and a primary motivator of moral behavior. But what is empathy, exactly? This seminar will seek to find out, exploring the concept through the lens of literature and medicine. nReading novels and exploring the philosophical beginnings of the term empathy, we will learn about the range of ways in which human beings have attempted to know and understand the other. Guided by research studies and our own experience, we will explore the critical question of whether empathy really does lead to altruism. We will consider why it can be so hard for human beings to walk in another's shoes and why we so often fail to do so. Through memoirs of suffering, we will learn about empathy in medicine and about what the latest studies in biology and neuroscience can teach us about how we relate to each other. Lastly, we will explore the dangers and limitations of empathy, reading scholarly circuits and discussing the role of empathy in life and society.
MED 201: Internal Medicine: Body as Text
Instructors: Kugler, J.; Ozdalga, E.; Verghese, A.
Body as Text refers to the idea that every patient's body tells a story. The narrative includes the past and present of a person's social and medical condition; it is a demonstration of the phenotype. The art of reading the body as text was at its peak in the first half of the 20th century, but as technology has become ascendant, bedside skills and the ability to read the text have faded. Beyond scientific knowledge and medical facts, it is this often forgotten craft which is at the heart of the excitement of being an internist. This course introduces students to the art of the clinical exam, to developing a clinical eye, and learning to see the body in a completely different way.
MED217S1: Being Mortal - Medicine, Mortality, & Caring For Older Adults
Instructor: Pompei, Peter
Mortality is the inevitable, final outcome of human health. Though medical education focuses on treating illness and prolonging life, healthcare professionals in practice mi=ust face the fact that pateints' lives cnnot always be saved. This course will explore the difficult issues such as end-of-life planning, decision-making, and cost of care, that figure in hospitals, hospice, and assisted living centers. Guest speakers will include elderly care workers, medical writers and filmmakers, and physicians in geriatrics, oncology, and palliative care, who will lead student discussions following their lectures. Upon finishing the course, students will learn how to better handle aging and death in their medical practice, in order to improve the quality of their patients' lives -- and that of their families.
MED 234: Literature and Global Health (AFRICAAM 229, AFRICAST 229, COMPLIT 229, CSRE 129B, FRENCH 229, HUMBIO 175L)
Instructors: Ikoku, A. (PI)
This course examines the ways writers in literature and medicine have used the narrative form to explore the ethics of care in what has been called the developing world. We will begin with a call made by the editor-in-chief of The Lancet for a literature of global health, namely fiction modeled on the social reform novels of the nineteenth century, meant to have helped readers develop a conscience for public health during its emergence as a modern specialty. We will then spend the quarter understanding how colonial, postcolonial, and world literatures may answer and complicate this call. Readings will include prose fiction by Albert Camus, Joseph Conrad, Tsitsi Dangaremgba, Amitav Ghosh, Susan Sontag as well as physician memoirs featuring Frantz Fanon, Albert Schweitzer, Abraham Verghese, Paul Farmer. And each literary reading will be paired with medical, philosophical, and policy writings that deeply inform the field of global health. Special Note: Course Limited to 30, with 10 reserved for MED registrants from the School of Medicine. Once full, please see Axess or Registrar's Office (not the course professor) for placement on the waitlist.