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Medical Humanities Coursework Is Associated with Greater Measured Empathy in Medical Students

  The primary focus of the study was to determine whether coursework in the medical humanities would ameliorate students’ loss of and failure to develop empathy, a problem known to be common during medical education. Methods Students were offered an elective course in the Medical Humanities for academic credit. The Jefferson Scale of Empathy Student […]

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American Journal of Medicine Editor Joseph Alpert

My Recent Reading List of Nonmedical Books

“But by the neglect of the studies of the humanities, which has been far too general, the profession loses a very precious commodity…There are at least a dozen or more works which would be helpful in getting wisdom in life which comes only to those who earnestly seek it.” Sir William Osler – Counsels and Ideals […]

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The Fallen Soldier

Remembering the Fallen Soldier: John McCrae on Flanders Fields The name John McCrae is not one instantly recognized in the annals of medical history. Although a friend and colleague of such giants as William Osler and Harvey Cushing, McCrae’s contribution to history is the mournful poem In Flanders Field, which he wrote on a World […]

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Lessons from My First Patient

Lying in front of me, motionless, was the red-haired woman whose brain had been ravaged by glioblastoma multiforme. What did I know about her other than that she had brain cancer? Was she a grandmother? Did she like to travel? Did she have hobbies? I told myself that I had just been too busy to […]

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Mastectomy without Anesthesia: The Cases of Abigail Adams Smith and Fanny Burney

Elizabeth Edwards (1949-2010) survived breast cancer for 6 years. She had the benefits of modern medical science, including anesthesia and painkillers. Despite her disease, Edwards published 2 bestsellers and shared upbeat messages on Facebook about her fate. Two hundred years ago, before the discovery of anesthesia by ether and painkilling pharmaceuticals, the odds of dying […]

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