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Healing and education through the arts and life-skills

The Dalhousie University undergraduate medical program has a well established Humanities component known as HEALS (Healing & Education through the Arts & Life-Skills). The program falls under the undergraduate medical program, however, activities are open to residents and physicians in practice.

Team-based care

Team-based care is becoming more prominent in the health care system. DMNB is in a unique position for interprofessional/interdisciplinary collaboration as the medical program is on the same site as the New Brunswick Community College, the University of NB Saint John campus and the Saint John Regional Hospital. Students have the opportunity to meet and interact with students from other health disciplines. There are also opportunities to liaise with and learn about community organizations.

Creating well-rounded physicians

The humanities provide excellent opportunities to build skills in self-awareness, self-reflection, team building, observation, communication skills and well-being. One of the goals of the humanities program is to prepare physicians for practice who are aware of their own limitations and who understand the importance of self-care in the provision of high quality patient care. Finding balance during and after medical school is key to being an excellent physician.

Benefits to student physicians

Different aspects of the humanities have now been shown to improve clinical skills, such as observation. The humanities program offers creative opportunities for research, either as a stand alone project or as part of another project.

DMNB offers students the opportunity to join:

  • Heartbeat!, the DMNB choir
  • Ceol, the DMNB ceilidh band
  • Book club
  • Student-led visual arts club
  • Spirituality in healthcare: workshop and memorial service
  • History of medicine projects and interaction with their peers in Halifax
  • Research opportunities in the humanities

Visit the HEALS program at Dalhousie for more information.