Four universities, three countries, one program: Uniting perspectives on medicine and the humanities
Posted on Monday, August 12, 2019
By Chonglu Huang
This summer marked the third annual Medicine and Humanities International Program (MHIP), which took place in Shanghai from July 1 to 12, bringing together students from uOttawa, Université de Lyon and two participating medical schools in China.
Co-hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM) and Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM), this year’s theme was “Integrative Medicine – The Art of Combining Western Medicine with Traditional Chinese Medicine.”
Seven MD students and one faculty member from uOttawa’s Faculty of Medicine attended this training program, during which they engaged in intercultural knowledge exchanges and learned about how cultural perspectives shape communication. A total of 42 students and 31 professors participated this year from the four partnered institutions.
“As future physicians, it is essential to understand that our responsibility to patients combine scientific knowledge with humanistic aspects that foster trust, understanding and empathy,” said Oliver Fung, uOttawa MD 2022 candidate and a participant of the MHIP program.
“Furthermore, through intercultural exchanges and communication, we are able to appreciate differences in health care practices across the globe and gain a better understanding of the importance of effective communication,” added Fung.
Launched in the summer of 2017 through a multilateral partnership between the four medical schools located in Ottawa, Lyon and Shanghai, the MHIP is a global program that takes place at each of the three cities on a rotating annual basis. In 2020, the program will be hosted in Lyon, France.
“I am proud and incredibly privileged to accompany uOttawa MD students in this experience,” said Dr. Millaray Sanchez-Campos, assistant professor of Family Medicine at uOttawa. “Our students certainly caught the attention of their international peers with their participation and reflections.”
“After spending two weeks together with students and teachers from three different continents and cultures, I realized that—albeit our differences—we all share a common humanity that makes it possible to make new friendships and strengthen our alliance.”