Author: Mostafa RM, Milz M, Hamdy H and Gibbs T Publication Year: 2013
Summary: There is much discussion surrounding the place of the humanities within the health sciences curricula. This paper describes the affective domain, focusing upon an elective taught to groups of medical and health sciences students at the University of Sharjah, College of Medicine, UAE.
Description: There is still much discussion surrounding the place of the humanities within the undergraduate medical and health sciences curricula. Whilst a large amount of educational research focuses on the cognitive and psycho-motor domains of learning, seeking the most appropriate ways of teaching, learning and assessment, less attention is paid to the more difficult to define affective domain. Various authors have tried to enhance the student learning within this domain by exploring the benefits of teaching the humanities in harmony with other standard teaching activities.

This paper describes such an activity; an elective taught to groups of medical and health sciences students at the University of Sharjah, College of Medicine, UAE. The core objectives of the course are to develop the students’ awareness of the spiritual and humanistic components of healthcare, and through their exposure to the various media of the arts to explore and discuss the many aspects of the ethics of healthcare.

The short term evaluation of the course has demonstrated a sharpening of the students’ awareness that art represents a significant reflexive source of insight into patients’ and doctors’ experiences within the socio-cultural and historical of medical practice. It also appeared to strengthen the consciousness of the young future healthcare professionals that art can not only be used efficiently to distract from illness, but also, even directed as a tool to cure and heal. A longer term evaluation is expected as the students progress further into their course, looking specifically how the course facilitated their learning in the affective domain.

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