Ideas for Solidarity Week Activities

Solidarity Week is a wonderful event each February set aside to celebrate compassionate patient-centered care. For 2018, Solidarity Week will be Feb. 12-16. Each medical school, university, or health organization that participates in Solidarity Week should plan activities to stand in solidarity with patients.

When your GHHS chapter or medical institution decides its activities for Solidarity Week 2018, please let us know your plans by filling out this form. You can also use the Solidarity Week stickers through the form and let us know if your institution would like to implement a weeklong version of Tell Me More®, which was the focus of Solidarity Week in 2017 and other years.

Below is a list of previous Solidarity Week activities that can serve as inspiration to craft your institution’s activities this year.

The Power of Humanism, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and Phoenix Chapters

To symbolize compassionate patient care, event participants formed a human chain and wrote cards to their peers expressing kindness. Baskets with information about Solidarity Day, ribbons, and candies were delivered throughout the hospital units. The day also included musical performances and poetry readings.

Patient as Professor Rounds, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Patients were invited to speak on a panel to discuss their positive and negative experiences with the medical field. The goal of this discussion was for humanistic physicians to recognize the negative occurrences and enhance their ability to replicate the positive ones.

Both Sides of the Stethoscope, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine

Faculty, staff, students, and resident s attended a poetry reading by Beryl Lawn, a physician and patient. The poems presented touched on topics from both sides of the stethoscope, highlighting the experiences of both a doctor and a patient.

Humanism in Action, George Washington University School of Medicine

Members of the resident chapter set up a booth in the hospital lobby inviting students, residents, attending physicians, and staff to share their experiences of compassionate care. These written descriptions were then displayed in the lobby to represent humanism in action.

Lunch and Learn­, UMDNJ – New Jersey Medical School

Doctor/poet spoke about compassionate care, followed by the presentation of student reflections. Buttons symbolizing humanism in medicine were distributed during the lunch.

Gratitude Visit Day, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Faculty, residents, and students were asked to personally recognize 1-2 of their colleagues for their hard work, compassion or humanistic care.  In the form of a verbal exchange or written note, individuals expressed their gratitude for one another in a heart-felt compliment.

Humanistic Hearts, Howard University College of Medicine

Students and hospital staff were invited to write down on a post-it at least one way in which they plan to commit to practicing humanistic medicine that day or week.  Post-its expressing commitment to humanistic care were displayed on a poster board in the hospital.

Companionship, University of Virginia School of Medicine

GHHS student members visited inpatients and dialysis patients who do not have visitors. Students established new relationships with these patients and provided companionship through playing games and creating art together.

Baskets Made with Care, Medical University of South Carolina School of Medicine

Medical students distributed care baskets to families in the waiting areas of the hospital. Baskets included cards, candies and magazines.

Doctors Should…, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Valentines’ cards were distributed to patients throughout the hospital. Each card included an index card that read, “Doctors should…” and patients were asked to complete the sentence. Cards were collected and the information was shared.

The Waiting Room, Jefferson Medical College

Students visited hospital waiting rooms and provided patients and families with coffee and snacks. Mindful breathing exercises were led by a member of the group who is also a certified Yoga instructor.

A Compassionate Community, University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine

Members of GHHS distributed roses, cards, and buttons to patients at the Truman Medical Center. Their goal was to reach out to the community, reminding everyone that they are loved and are an important part of the community.

Twenty-six Acts of Kindness, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Students, residents, and faculty were challenged to perform 26 acts of kindness, compassion, and humanism. These acts were meant to honor the lives lost at Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT. A billboard shaped as a heart was created to document their thoughts and actions over 26 days.

Stronger Together, Yale University School of Medicine

Solidarity Day was promoted by distributing buttons to entire medical teams, including nurses, physician assistants, social workers, etc. The goal of the day was to recognize the importance of teamwork in providing compassionate care for patients and symbolized the day with the phrase, “Stronger Together”.

Hearts of Gold, University of Nevada School of Medicine

Students and GHHS members created paper hearts and distributed them to students, residents, doctors, staff, and patients. Individuals were asked to write down the name of a person they witnessed do something compassionate on the heart. The hearts were collected and displayed in the hospital.

Peoria Cares Journal, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria

Members of the healthcare community were invited to share anecdotes and examples that illustrate how the spirit of humanism is alive and flourishing. Shared experiences were posted on an on-going blog event titled, “Peoria Cares Journal”. An essay/poetry/mixed media contest was created for medical students who shared expressions of humanism.

Humanism Awareness, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine

GHHS members encouraged everyone on campus and in the clinics/hospitals to wear red on Solidarity Day. Members provided the community with red solidarity rubber bracelets and encouraged individuals to think and speak about Humanism in Medicine.

Book Rounds, University of Toledo College of Medicine

GHHS members passed out donated books to patients and their families throughout the entire hospital. Each book contained a personalized bookmark.

Defining Humanism,  Albert Einstein College of Medicine

GHHS members approached people on campus with video cameras and asked them to reflect on humanism in medicine. Questions such as “What is humanism?” and “How do you maintain your humanistic qualities when the going gets tough?” were asked.

Who is inside your white coat? , USC School of Medicine Greenville

Prompted by questions including: What made you want to be a doctor? How will you practice humanistic medicine? What makes a great physician? How can you provide Compassionate Patient Care?” “coats” were displayed along the windowed corridor of the medical school throughout Solidarity Week to spark discussion around the topic of compassionate patient care.

What will your GHHS Chapter or medical institution do for the 2018 Solidarity Week? Let us know here!