A growing body of research suggests that religion and spirituality may have a positive effect on mental and physical health. Medical schools have been increasingly offering courses in spirituality and health, particularly about the multi-cultural dimensions of religion and spirituality. There is a trend towards integrating the teaching of cross-cultural issues related to spirituality and religion into medical education. This trend is particularly evident in the field of psychiatry, where an increasing number of residency programmes are developing curriculum in this area. This article describes a specific curriculum in spirituality, religion and culture that was introduced in 2003 at the University of Washington Psychiatry Residency Program in Seattle, Washington. Reflections about the present and future of subject areas such as spirituality and religion in medical education and psychiatry residency are discussed.
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Emma Bezy, MSW, died 21 June 2007, in Seattle, WA. This paper is published in loving memory of Emma, whose work in fostering the integration of spirituality into medical education has been an inspiration to many.
This material is based upon work supported by Health Services R&D Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, PhD Postdoctoral Fellowship grant #TPP 61-023.
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A version of this article has been previously presented in Spanish at the V Congreso Virtual de Psiquiatría Interpsiquis 2004. The article was published as part of the correspondent online proceedings as: Kozak L, Gardiner L, Bezy E (2004). Espiritualidad, religión y cultura: La introducción de estas áreas temáticas en programas de residencia médica psiquiátrica. Proceedings of Presented Papers of the V Congreso Virtual de Psiquiatría Interpsiquis 2004 [online publication available at http://www.interpsiquis.com/2004].
Funding this article was written under my fellowship assignment at HSR&D, VA Puget Sound.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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