St. George’s University, School of Medicine (SOM) in Grenada, the Caribbean, introduces the Department of Medical Humanities and History of Medicine. The new department, led by Robert Hage, MD, PhD, DLO, MBA as chair, and Arlette Herry, PhD, assistant dean of multicultural affairs, as its deputy chair, aims to emphasize and integrate humanities and the history of medicine courses throughout SGU’s four-year MD program.
The field of medical humanities is an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates various aspects of the humanities and social sciences into the study of medicine and healthcare. It provides a broader and more holistic understanding of health, illness, and medicine, taking into account the cultural, social, and ethical dimensions of these topics.
“Medicine is not merely a profession. It’s a noble pursuit—a calling to serve humanity and alleviate suffering,” said School of Medicine Dean, Dr. Marios Loukas. “Being a good doctor means actively seeking to understand the unique experiences and perspectives of patients by acknowledging and addressing health disparities and providing the highest quality of care to every individual.”
The new program content will be delivered through the newly established department and will strengthen students’ communication skills and empathy, enrich their patient relationships, help build rapport with patients and colleagues, enhance their cultural competency, and mitigate burnout, among other benefits.
“Pure curriculum-based biomedical sciences do not pay sufficient attention to quality of life,” Dr. Hage said. “SGU’s medical humanities department helps students tap into crucial attributes such as introspection/reflection, empathy, and cultural humbleness—all of which are pivotal in creating a physician ready to serve a global community.”
SOM students can earn recognition in the medical humanities through research activities, certificates, a diploma, and eventually, a Master of Science.
“Medical humanities play a vital role in broadening the education and training of healthcare professionals by emphasizing the importance of cultural and social contexts, effective communication, and empathy in patient care,” Dr. Hage said.