Cultivating Humanism II:
A symposium on Medicine
and the Arts

Harvard Medical School

Welcome to Cultivating Humanism: A Symposium on Medicine and the Arts

In 2010, a group of committed artists, writers and musicians from Harvard Medical School (HMS) created the Committee for Arts & Humanities@HMS, with the goal to "promote compassion, creativity and community in medical education and improve patient care through the arts and humanities." The Committee will aims to expand to become a vibrant educational locus, uniting, supporting and developing medical arts and humanities initiatives at HMS and its affiliated hospitals.  

On May 11, 2013, Arts&Humanities@HMS will present Cultivating Humanism II: A symposium on Medicine and the Arts which will explore and underscore the profound and important value of incorporating the arts and humanities into the medical settings. Participants will work with faculty artists and physicians to explore the art and humanities in the service of patient care, team building and caregiver learning, reflection and renewal.

The learning will continue far beyond the May 11 symposium - new connections and relationships will be forged, new ideas brought back to clinics and hospitals, and new research will begin. In order to measure the impact of the participatory teaching model of the Symposium, attendees themselves will be part of the research. They will be surveyed on their perceptions of the experience in intervals over the following year. 

Arts & Humanities@HMS

The Committee for Arts&Humanities@HMS was founded in 2010 by a group of Harvard Medical School faculty, graduate trainees and students from a cross-section of arts disciplines and Harvard-affiliated hospitals interested in developing an infrastructure at HMS to: 

  • support the application of the Arts and Humanities in medical education
  • create opportunities at Harvard Medical School and the University for students and faculty to explore the intersection between medicine, science and the arts, through seminars, presentations and performances
  • serve as a resource for Harvard Medical School students and faculty interested in the arts
  • promote further research in the arts and medicine
  • serve as a community catalyst in the growing conversation about the healing arts
Our mission is to promote compassion, creativity and community in medical education and to improve patient care by embracing the arts and humanities. We believe that integration of visual arts, literature, poetry, music, dance and theater into educational and patient care programs has the potential to improve physician training, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.
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