Should medical students be required to study the arts? No
The way medicine is taught and the contents of curriculums are always under scrutiny. Giskin Day and Matthew Rinaldi (doi:10.1136/sbmj.f5055) say students are missing a valuable lesson by not studying the arts, but Jane Macnaughton says including the arts in medical education has failed to meet its objectives
What is someone who has spent half her life trying to insist on the importance of the arts and humanities in medicine doing writing against the proposition that medical students should be required to study them? I think the fact that this is more than just an academic exercise for me is proof that, despite a built-in bias towards responding positively to this proposition, it is possible to change your mind about something you once were convinced was right. And I have changed my mind.
I believe that the arts and humanities in medical education experiment has been a failure and has not achieved the aims that we envisaged for it at the outset. What is the proof of this? I think we need only look to the outpouring of conferences on “compassion in healthcare” that have taken place since the publication of the Francis report in February 2013.1 The