In April 2020, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation announced the launch of the new free virtual course “Humanism in Health and Healthcare,” developed in partnership with Oakland University’s William Beaumont School of Medicine and NextGenU.org. Designed for physicians, nurses and allied health professionals in training and in practice, the “Humanism in Health and Healthcare” course provides foundational theoretical and practical knowledge and skills, as well as an opportunity to practice humanistic techniques to assist patients in achieving positive health behavior changes. The course was designed using a competency-based model. To receive credit, students can work with their learning institution or workplace to approve the NextGenU.org course for educational credit. Read the announcement of the new course and access the course on NextGenU.org here.
In June 2020, Dr. Jason Adam Wasserman, who had led the development of the curriculum, and Dr. Hedy S. Wald, who was a content creator for the curriculum, created the first live class based on this course. Seventeen students — international, interprofessional, intergenerational — enrolled. The class included additional readings and reflective exercises done independently, as well as weekly live sessions on Zoom.
Dr. Jason Adam Wasserman is Associate Professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies and Department of Pediatrics, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.
“From my perspective, the complexity of illness today involves all sorts of social and human factors that affect how people get sick and how well they manage their illnesses when they do. This means that to be a successful clinician — to perform the core functions of diagnosis and treatment — you must understand who a patient is as a person, as well as their values and preferences.”
Dr. Hedy S. Wald is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
“I think humanism in healthcare extends to humanism in mentoring and healthcare education. Instructors should cultivate this within the course with an individualized approach and help students optimize their reflective learning and ability to move from theory to practice.”
Learn more about their philosophies and thoughts about the benefits of a live cohort in this Q&A following the first live class in June 2020.
“Everybody in health care, and most especially those in training, should have the opportunity to do a course such as this one. We need to know the intellectual, practical, and emotional means that will help us bring humanism into our daily professional practice.” — Jackie Hinckley, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Professor in Speech-Language Pathology at Nova Southeastern University
“I thoroughly enjoyed the material that was covered in the course and the discussions we had in class and via our reflections. This course encouraged me to think critically and creatively about maintaining humanism in healthcare and capitalizing on it to support patients and healthcare staff. I am grateful and excited to refer to this experience and knowledge as I continue my medical education.” — Jude Fahoum, member of the June 2020 class, rising second-year student at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine — Cleveland