International Summer School strengthens uOttawa’s Medicine and the Humanities Program
uOttawa MD students join peers from China and France to study medicine and humanities through an intercultural lens
This month, nine uOttawa MD students joined peers from partnered universities in Shanghai and Lyon for the second annual Medicine and Humanities International Summer School hosted this year by Université de Lyon in France from July 3 to 14.
uOttawa President and Vice-Chancellor Jacques Fremont participated in the summer school’s opening ceremony in Lyon to celebrate its success as a key component of the Medicine and Humanities International Program (MHIP).
The MHIP launched in 2016 as a multilateral partnership between four post-secondary institutions: University of Ottawa, Université de Lyon, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM), and Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM). Its purpose is to enable students to experience the history of medicine, art, literature, philosophy and human sciences across multiple cultures and languages to foster critical thinking, professionalism and empathy.
Forty students in total took part in this year’s 10-day summer school designed around the theme “In Every Sense.” The students spent time reflecting on ethical, professional and human issues in medicine across languages and cultures.
"One thing that stood out in this program is that medical knowledge is not always enough for every action. The doctor must appeal to his heart and let his intuition speak,” said Charlotte Roy, a second-year uOttawa MD student enrolled in the MHIP. “This is not always obvious and requires us to let go in order to create a balance between the human and the technician. In my opinion, these two characteristics cannot be opposed and must rather be paired for the best interest of the patient.”
“In applying our central theme around the question of the senses, this summer school is an opportunity to think about the many definitions of ‘body’ in medical practices: the doctor’s body and the patient’s body; the medical body and the social body,” explains Professor Nicholas Lechopier, who designed this year’s curriculum at Université de Lyon.
Dr. Jean Roy, Director of the Medicine and Humanities Program currently offered at uOttawa accompanied local students to Lyon along with Dr. Isabelle Burnier, Director of Clinical Skills for the Undergraduate Medical Education program (Francophone stream).
“We are proud of what we have accomplished here in Ottawa and internationally by initiating this incredible partnership,” said Dr. Roy. “The collaboration between clinician, human and social scientists to enhance our curriculum is visionary and will prove to be the way to go for all universities in the years to come.”
Each year, one of the four partner institutions in the MHIP takes a turn to host the summer school for students from Ottawa, Lyon, and Shanghai.
Building on the success of the inaugural summer school in Ottawa in July 2017, this year’s summer school in Lyon continued to emphasize the value of having the humanities included in medical training through curriculum development, knowledge sharing and student exchange. The next MHIP summer school will be hosted in Shanghai, China.
Would you like to support uOttawa medical students in this program? Please donate towards the Student Mobility Fund for International Medicine and Humanities.