April 10, 2021

A Once-in-a-Century Crisis Can Help Educate Doctors

  • Image care of the New York Times
    Soomin Jung/NYT

The horrors of Covid-19 may give proponents of the liberal arts an unexpected opening, Dr. Molly Worthen writes in an opinion piece published in the New York Times Sunday Review.

The pandemic is a once-in-a-century crisis that may force health professionals and medical schools to look beyond the traditional tools of modern medicine and think more broadly about how we train doctors to grapple with public health catastrophes.

Including the the humanities and social sciences in medical training can do more than shed light on the cultural context of disease. It can also help doctors connect with patients as multidimensional beings.

To make sense of disproportionate Covid death rates in Black and Latino communities or white evangelicals’ vaccine hesitancy, medical researchers need to consider everything from the history of redlining to theologies of God’s judgment. Medical professionals cannot afford to stay in highly specialized lanes or rely solely on the familiar quantitative methods of the medical sciences.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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