Article Text

Download PDFPDF
“The dark side of the spectrum …” a “day of suffering” for medical students
  1. W Lewis,
  2. A Grant
  1. Department of General Practice, University of Wales, College of Medicine, Cardiff, Wales, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr W Lewis, Carreg Wen Surgery, Church Road, Blaenavon, Gwent NP4 9AF, Wales;


The alleviation of suffering has been described as a central goal of medicine. A familiarity with this subject may have great practical benefit, while promoting reflection upon medicine more generally. This paper describes a study day for medical students that encourages them to think about suffering. A variety of texts in different media were used as the basis of group discussion. Sources reflected the range of suffering that may be encountered, including suffering from causes not normally considered to be “medical”. An evaluation of the study day was performed, using the nominal group technique, suggesting that the day was both popular and had achieved its goals.

  • medical education
  • medicine and literature
  • philosophy of medicine
  • suffering

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.