Developing a Personal Art of Living Toolkit: A medical humanities case study

Eline Kieft

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Background/objectives Since a few years, the Peninsula Medical School offers special study units in medical humanities throughout their medical curriculum. The purpose of these longitudinal modules is to create greater resilience in students in the face of complexity, ambiguity and the unknown; cultivate empathic intelligence; and manage their own physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, while balancing the high demands of their profession. Methodology This paper presents the approach, process and outcomes of one of the modules called ‘Build your own Art of Living Toolkit’. Meeting with the students throughout the year, as well as giving in between assignments, created an ongoing inquiry into personal values, fears, hopes and dreams, and a chance to explore their worldviews and frames of meaning. This module was based in experiential learning, rather than classical delivery and drew inspiration from Socrates’ applied ‘Art of Living philosophy’, various arts and movement practices and (shamanic) tools for personal growth. Results Aside from a reflexive piece, each student created a personalised toolkit with three regular practices to stay nourished and resourced on a daily basis throughout their future careers. They furthermore created a piece of art which would help them ‘remember’ and strengthen these practices in times they would forget. Finally, all students presented their work in a conference, so they also benefited from the insights of other groups. Conclusion For many students this was the first opportunity to engage with personal reflexive practices, and they found it beneficial to manage stress and address a healthy work-life balance. It also enabled them to place the patients’ journey in another perspective, establishing more empathy and compassion through seeing the person behind the patient.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventWellbeing Conference 2016: Co-creating pathways to well-being - Birmingham City University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Duration: 5 Sep 20166 Sep 2016


    ConferenceWellbeing Conference 2016
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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