Integrating medical humanities into physiotherapy and occupational therapy education
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This paper outlines an innovative curricular development at Leeds Metropolitan University. Two new programmes the MSc occupational therapy (OT) and MSc physiotherapy (PT) (preregistration) which have a strong element of shared learning in their curricula are running for their first year post approval. Medical humanities (MH) is frequently used as method of education with preregistration OT students and medical students (Hurwirz, 2003) but is much less commonly used in PT preregistration education. The OT and PT students jointly took part in a week of MH involving workshops, discussion and a 'performance' of work in progress. The week focused on the use of literature and the arts as a channel for exploration and discussion of human issues that are pertinent to health professionals. The aim was to help foster empathy, compassion and skills which the students would need to use on an everyday basis when dealing with a wide spectrum of service users and colleagues at the University and on practice placement. The paper is sectioned chronologically. There is a review of the background literature and rationale for the development of MH in PT and OT cirricula. The external specialist tutors, the course leaders and the OT and PT students' views and input are outlined. The MH week was evaluated through written evaluation forms, a student focus group, email comments from students to course leaders and a staff debriefing. Learning points for staff and students are addressed. Recommendations relating to the format, content and development ideas for implementation of MH education for future cohorts are proposed.
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
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Medical and Health Sciences