Dr. Emily Beckman and SLA graduate Chad Childers recently published an article titled, “An Essential Hospice Experience Course for Preclinical Students,” in the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine.
This article proposes an undergraduate hospice experience course as a new model of experiential learning, one that would provide effective preparation for students entering medical school and that would help them become better doctors. Medical humanities scholars scrutinize narrative models for inspiration and understanding, in order to develop teaching strategies that recognize the importance of the end of life and caring for patients appropriately. The written narrative, however, should not stand alone: the spoken, or shared narrative-the story as it is told by patients, friends, and family members-is equally important. Therefore, the authors urge that undergraduate premedical students spend time with patients who are dying. The Medical Humanities program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) offers an experiential learning course that couples student volunteer hospice service with reflective analysis of the relationship between the end of life, medicine, and patient care and that emphasizes the value of the shared story. This article examines the development and implementation of the upper-level undergraduate Hospice Experience course as an invitation to a larger conversation about this important topic.
Emily Beckman is an Assistant Professor in Medical Humanities and Health Studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI
Chad Childers is a 2017 graduate of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and is currently a graduate student in the Medical Humanities and Health Studies (MHHS) Program at IUPUI