Medicine and Humanities International Summer Event goes virtual
Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2020
The physical distancing requirements and travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed the Medicine and Humanities International Program (MHIP) into unprecedented territory.
The 2020 MHIP, which was originally slated to take place in person at the Université de Lyon campus, has been converted to a special virtual summer event whereby 14 students and five faculty members from the University of Ottawa and the University of Lyon come together in an online curriculum titled “Artificial Intelligence and Health Relations in Pandemic Times.”
Launched in 2016, MHIP was designed to enable students and professors to experience cross-cultural learning that connects medicine with the humanities in a fully bilingual curriculum. It usually involves participation by four partner institutions – uOttawa, University of Lyon, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM), and Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM). The primary objective of the MHIP is to allow medical students from different backgrounds to gather together and reflect on ethical, professional and human issues in medicine.
Starting on Thursday, July 2ndparticipants began connecting synchronously online. The first two days of the program involved orientation and lectures, followed by four weeks of asynchronous investigation and research in international groups of three students and a tutor. Professors in arts, literature, philosophy and social sciences from the partner universities shared their expertise with the medical students during lectures and workshops. This introduced participants to different approaches that integrated the humanities to medical training and practice, in order to increase knowledge, foster critical thinking, and develop empathy.
During the final two days of the program, the group will come together once again to share presentations of their findings and participate in a closing ceremony on Friday, August 7th. This unique and special event will create a dynamic exchange opportunity for all involved, providing an intercultural perspective on a current problem in the field of health.
“At a time when the world seems suddenly much further apart, the continuation of international partnerships like this one allows our students to reach out beyond our borders and engage with new perspectives on some of the biggest challenges facing our field” said Dr. Francis Bakewell, Director of the Medicine, Ethics, and Humanities Program.“I would like to thank our colleagues in Lyon for their creativity and perseverance in hosting this innovative program.”