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). It falls under the undergraduate medical program; however, activities are also open to residents and practicing physicians.

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 New Brunswick Saint John campus, and the Saint John Regional Hospital. DMNB students have the opportunity to meet and interact with students from other health disciplines as wel as liaise with and learn about various community organizations.

Creating well-rounded physicians

The humanities provide excellent opportunities to build skills in self-awareness, self-reflection, observation, communication, team building, and well-being. One of the goals of the humanities program is to prepare physicians 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 becoming an excellent physician.

Benefits to student physicians

Different aspects of the humanities have been shown to improve clinical skills like observation. The humanities program also 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.