Establishing a medical humanities program in Israel: Challenges and solutions

Dorith Shaham*, Leonid Kandel, Alexander Gural

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In the 2007-8 academic year, the Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School established a three-year Medical Humanities program. We developed a spiral curriculum addressing three main concepts: moral reasoning, professionalism, and the social and cultural context of medicine, each of which is revisited during the entire period of studies on a higher level. The coursesencompassing topics applicable to medicine in general as well as subjects of special significance to physicians in Israelare taught in a combination of frontal lectures, small group discussions, and early clinical exposure. Our interdisciplinary faculty includes physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, lawyers and members of the Faculty of Humanities. We believe that teaching the medical humanities enables graduating physicians to utilize the latest scientific and technological knowledge more empathetically and humanely, reminding them that medicine is not confined to mere tending to the sick, but includes an ethical philosophy common to all physicians who remain true to their art.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)307-315
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Legacy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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