Monday, August 17, 2009
"The Humanities in Medicine and Medical Education," Annual Symposium, New York Academy of Medicine, October 7-8, 2009.
Considerations of the interface between the humanities and medicine have become both more complex and more urgent in recent decades as advances in science have allowed progressively deeper understanding of disease mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities. A progressive technologic transformation of clinical practice has followed from these advances. For medical education as well as clinical practice these movements pose important questions around the directions, even the purposes, of medicine, centering on how best to manage responsibilities to the patient as a suffering person and at the same time attend effectively to the disease as a set of disordered biological processes. Continuing progress is occurring not only in the sciences and the derivative technologies, but also in understanding of the illness experience, the physician-patient dynamic and the importance of social environments as determinants of both. The question of what the humanities can bring to these issues is the focus of this conference. Emphases have varied—for some the primary focus has meant bringing the range of traditional humanities disciplines—philosophy, history, literature, the arts, narrative—into medical education, while for others primary attention to medical ethics or the behavioral sciences has been sought. Some of these considerations have been gathered under the rubric of humanism in the United States, or patient-centered medicine in the U.K. This conference will explore the insights, orientations and gifts the humanities hold for medicine as well as their implications for education and clinical care. Visit the conference webpage here: http://www.nyam.org/events/?id=530&click.