Put humanities on the curriculum, say medical students
Three quarters of medical students think that medical humanities, such as literature, should be offered on the curriculum, says a study published in the August edition of Medical Education (2000; 34: 622-9). Of the students who thought that including humanities was a good idea, 89% thought that it should not be examined.
According to the study, medical students also find reading for pleasure harder to maintain after starting at university. They listed time pressure, work, study, and academic demands as the main causes.
First, second, and third year medical students at Newcastle University filled in a questionnnaire about what they read and why; 67% (258/384) responded. Forty per cent read one or more fiction books a month, but 75% of these had read fewer non-curriculum books since they started their course.
Another important factor was that the university environment tended to offer more sociable and interactive ways of relaxing. So