Medical School

A humane approach to care

At Dalhousie, we strongly believe that physicians need creativity, compassion and empathy to provide excellent diagnostic assessment and treatment. That’s why, as a medical student, you’ll find aspects of the arts and humanities woven throughout your undergraduate curriculum.

Stories shared through theatre

In second year, you’ll benefit from a performance of “Ed’s Story: The Dragon Chronicles”. This verbatim play is wholly based on the journal written by Ed, a 16-year-old with advanced cancer, as well as 25 follow-up interviews with his friends, family and members of his healthcare team.

This play is a great example of the effect the humanities has on medical training. Paul D’Alessandro (Dalhousie Medicine, 2013) travelled across Canada, performing the play, and conducting a research study that documented the reactions of medical students. The study confirmed that the arts and humanities provide a deeper appreciation for patient experiences and promote healthy self-reflection.

Stories shared through art

Robert Pope was an artist here in Nova Scotia. He documented his experience living with cancer in a series of painting: Images of Cancer: Illness and Healing. Dr. Jock Murray knew Robert well and discusses patient and professional experiences through Robert’s art. Dr. Murray’s talk is given just before you immerse yourself in patient care throughout your clerkship year.

Learn about arts and humanities electives.