CAHH Supporting the Canada’s Growing Health Humanities Community

A growing amount of research is demonstrating that healthcare professionals who seek out exposure to the humanities and arts-based learning are able to improve their capacity to think critically and augment creativity into their work with patients. The community of researchers, educators, and others interested in exploring these perspectives in health professions education now have a national organization to call their own. Emerging from the highly successful Creating Space meetings, attended by over 1500 people since 2010, comes the newly-formed Canadian Association for Health Humanities (CAHH).

The CAHH aims to promote a symbiotic understanding of both the human condition and practices of patient care through critical dialogue between cross-disciplinary medicine and the arts & humanities. Through various collaborations, regional events, and curating the annual Creating Space conferences, CAHH will work to add significant value to the interdisciplinary cultures of the medical/health humanities locally, nationally and internationally.

In this spirit, the CAHH and Post MD have launched the Program in Health, Arts and Humanities to advance a deeper understanding of health, illness, suffering, disability and the provision of healthcare by creating a community of scholars in the arts, humanities and clinical sciences at the University of Toronto. Through monthly films, lectures and seminars at U of T, participants will learn to challenge personal assumptions and biases, to stretch their worldview and to become more reflective in their practice. This month, we are pleased to offer “Have You Seen The Patient?”- A Poetry Workshop for Physicians on November 29th. Taught by writer, physiotherapist and teacher Ronna Bloom, this 2-hour seminar will explore what it is to “see” your patient as a resident or fellow, practicing physician, MD educator, member of a team, and as a human being, using reflective writing and poetry.

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