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Medical humanities: a closer look at learning
  1. A Patterson1,
  2. D Sharek2,
  3. M Hennessy1,
  4. M Phillips3,
  5. S Schofield4
  1. 1Education Division, School of Medicine, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin2, Ireland
  2. 2School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin2, Ireland
  3. 3Tameside Sexual Health, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, Stockport, UK
  4. 4Centre for Medical Education, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr A Patterson, Education Division, School of Medicine, Level 1 Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland; patteram{at}


The inclusion of medical humanities with medical curricula is a question that has been the focus of attention for many within the evolving field. This study addressed the question from a medical education perspective and aimed to investigate what students at Trinity College Dublin learned from participating in a short medical humanities student-selected module in their first year of an undergraduate medical programme. A total of 156 students provided a written reflection on a memorable event that occurred during their student-selected module. The reflections were analysed using the Reflection Evaluation for Learners' Enhanced Competencies Tool (REFLECT) and through qualitative thematic analysis of the written reflections. Evidence of learning from the REFLECT quantitative analysis showed that 50% of students displayed higher levels of reflection when describing their experience. The reflection content analysis supported the heterogeneous nature of learning outcome for students, with evidence to support the idea that the module provided opportunities for students to explore their beliefs, ideas and feelings regarding a range of areas outside their current experience or world view, to consider the views of others that they may have not previously been aware of, to reflect on their current views, and to consider their future professional practice.

  • Literature
  • History
  • Art
  • Philosophy

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