Announcing the 2023-2024 Gold Humanism Scholars at the Harvard Macy Institute

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation is pleased to announce the 2023-2024 Gold Humanism Scholars at the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators:

  • Gauri Agarwal, MD, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is developing a curriculum for medical and nursing students utilizing humanities to cultivate empathy by addressing key applications and limitations of artificial intelligence in clinical practice.  The project is titled “The HUMANN Project: The Humanities Underpinning Machines and Artificial Neural Networks.”
  • Hannah Murphy Buc, PhD, RN, CNE, of the University of Maryland, is developing a “Restorative Justice Student Leadership Program” that will train undergraduate nursing students as restorative justice facilitators to partner with faculty and staff facilitators to cultivate a “Community of Belonging.”

Each year, the Gold Foundation selects healthcare educators for this prestigious scholarship whose work helps develop or evaluate educational projects focused on humanistic patient care. The projects must be able to be replicated across healthcare settings, which will amplify their impact even farther.

“There are so many outside forces impacting healthcare today. It’s critical that we continue to ensure humanism is embedded in new innovations and is empowered by new tools. As 2023-2024 Gold Humanism Scholars, Drs. Agarwal and Murphy Buc will be tackling topics that are key areas for the future of humanistic healthcare: artificial intelligence and restorative justice,” said Ann Bruder, Associate Vice President of Programs at the Gold Foundation. “Their commitment to ensuring inclusivity, compassion, and respect for patients, families, other healthcare clinicians, and colleagues is palpable throughout their work.”

The Gold Humanism Scholars receive partial scholarships of $5,000 to attend the Harvard Macy Institute (HMI) Program for Educators in the Health Professions. This highly interactive, annual, faculty development program meets for two separate week-long sessions, and once per month in between, in Cambridge, Massachusetts or virtually as circumstances require. Gold Humanism Scholars learn innovative methods to teach and assess their projects, as well as how to guide and champion their projects through institutional requirements and processes.

Alice Fornari

HMI creates a community of international educators and leaders. The passion for humanism brought by the Gold Humanism Scholars program permeates the educational environment and helps spark new collaborations.

Each year, Gold Humanism Scholars are mentored by a healthcare leader who is deeply familiar with the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators. This year’s mentor is Alice Fornari, EdD, FAMEE, RDN, HEC-C. Dr. Fornari is Professor for Science Education, Occupational Health, and Family Medicine, and Associate Dean of Educational Skills Development, at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. She is also Vice President of Faculty Development at Northwell Health.

The HUMANN Project: The Humanities Underpinning Machines and Artificial Neural Networks

Gauri Agarwal

Gauri Agarwal, MD, FACP, is the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Agarwal is a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) and serves as a faculty advisor for the University of Miami’s chapter of GHHS. She is also a 2017 recipient of the Gold Foundation’s Leonard Tow Award for Humanism in Medicine. Dr. Agarwal chairs the Cell Biology and Physiology Item Writing Committee for the National Board of Medical Examiners and has led national board review courses for practicing physicians for the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Agarwal’s research interests include the touchpoints of medical education, interprofessional education, and medical humanities. She has presented her work globally at the International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, and the Association for Medical Education in Europe International Annual Conference.

Dr. Agarwal’s Gold Humanism Scholars project seeks to cultivate empathy and humanistic patient care in medical and nursing students through the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) and medical humanities curriculum. The project will utilize a longitudinal curriculum in which students will learn about the key applications and limitations of AI in clinical practice. Additionally, each session will incorporate the medical humanities to highlight the importance of human judgment, observation, communication skills, empathy and de-biasing when administering AI tools in the care of patients.

The project is critical as the AI field continues to grow at a rapid pace. Currently, curricula of medical and nursing schools vary widely as to their depth and exposure within the areas of medical humanities and AI. There are growing concerns that physicians and nurses could overly rely on AI algorithms, which could lead to the decline of human interaction and empathy. In addition, AI algorithms can provide biased or inaccurate recommendations and unintentionally impact the misuse of confidential patient data.

Conversely, AI can help to improve communication and increase time at the bedside through the documenting of patient encounters and providing reminders on appointments. The automation of these tasks and the thoughtful leveraging of AI and the medical humanities can improve the well-being of healthcare professionals, thereby allowing them to offer more humanistic and compassionate care to patients.

As medical education seeks to advance humanistic patient care in a changing clinical environment, Dr. Agarwal’s project and its balancing of AI’s benefits with a medical humanities curriculum can help to provide a new way forward.

Cultivating a “Community of Belonging” through development of a Restorative Justice Student Leadership Program

Hannah Murphy Buc

Hannah Murphy Buc, PhD, RN, CNE, is the Director of the BSN program,  Director of the Restorative Justice Program, and Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore. As she works with students and patients, Dr. Murphy Buc explores avenues for building a more just and anti-racist healthcare system where human lives supersede corporate profit as the driving force for excellence in clinical care. Dr. Murphy Buc’s experience as a restorative justice facilitator informs her support of a reparative approach to making things right when harm is caused in a relationship.

Dr. Murphy Buc’s Gold Humanism Scholars project aims to establish a Restorative Justice Student Leadership Program that will equip undergraduate nursing students with the training tools to serve as restorative justice (RJ) facilitators. Student facilitators will collaborate with faculty and staff facilitators to nurture a “community of belonging” and prepare students and graduates with the restorative skills necessary to resolve conflict, strengthen resilience, and address issues of harm, including racism and other micro and macro aggressions, in educational and healthcare settings.

With an ever-growing number of nurses leaving the profession due to burnout, a culture of community and belonging in the learning process could help ease the mass exodus. Thus, Dr. Murphy Buc’s work is more important than ever. A new cohort of restorative justice leaders entering the community and acute care clinical environments, and embodying restorative practices and principles, could be transformational. This project is groundbreaking for this time of great challenge and opportunity for undergraduate nursing schools and their training of the next generation of leaders.

Irene Zampetoulas, MPA

Communications Associate

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