Medical humanities for all

Given the problems of policy, management and the massive societal expectations on doctors (leading to, for example, so much litigation against the medical profession), and given that the contexts and setting in which doctors and nurses work have arguably a greater impact on clinical outcomes than does the training of individual doctors, I would suggest that it is the politicians, civil servants, health service managers and patients themselves that really need more exposure to the medical humanities!

(By the way, I would disagree with anyone who suggests that shortcomings in communications skills are best addressed by courses specifically in communications. It is courses – such as medical humanities – that target the thinking behind communications, I would suggest, have the most significant impact on actual communication skills.)

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