Aug 29th 2016

Medicine and the Arts: Humanising Healthcare (FutureLearn)

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Explore the field of medical humanities - the intersection of the arts, humanities and healthcare - with this free online course.

This free online course will explore the intersection of medicine, medical anthropology and the creative arts. Through each of its six weeks, we’ll visit a new aspect of human life and consider it from the perspectives of people working in health sciences, social sciences and the arts.

The course will introduce you to the emerging field of medical humanities and the concept of whole person care, via these six themes:

- The Heart of the Matter: A Matter of the Heart

- Children’s Voices and Healing

- Art and the Brain

- Reproduction and Innovation

- Origins and Human Genetics

- Death and the Corpse

Together, we’ll question our propensity to separate the body from the mind in healthcare, consider what defines humanity, and share points of connection and difference between art and medicine.

Contributors to the course will include a psychologist, heart surgeon, pathologist, oncologist, geneticist, sociologist, poet and visual artist. They will pose critical questions about how we deal with health, healing and being human.

Each has been filmed on location in Cape Town, including at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, the Heart of Cape Town Museum, and the Pathology Learning Centre.

The course will encourage you to discuss your ideas with learners all over the world, and reflect on the ways in which bodies, health, social life, culture and the imagination intersect in your local setting. Together, we’ll ask:

- How is it that academic disciplines have become so rigid in their focus that they sometimes struggle to talk meaningfully to general audiences and other specialists?

- And what potential can we unlock by combining different fields of expertise and the silos of knowledge that otherwise separate them?