“Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice”: medical students’ experiences of a creative writing workshop
The humanities are increasingly being introduced into the medical curriculum. Suggested benefits include increased observational skills and ability to consider alternatives or perspectives thus leading to improved person centred, empathic and clinically excellent care. A pilot creative writing workshop was offered and six students volunteered to take part. The workshop was facilitated by a general practitioner poet who conducted two 3-hour workshops and included in-between a writing activity with students receiving feedback. Each student also undertook a learning preference inventory and agreed to a one-year follow-up. The data from the inventory was analysed; each student scored differently on the four learning preference dimensions. Five themes emerged in the follow-up qualitative survey: creative arts a surprise; creative arts appreciated; the impact of the workshops; continuing to write; more creative arts opportunities. More initiatives are needed for humanities in medical education. These can be introduced to develop particular skills and/or humanities substituted for teaching or assessment methods in existing topics.
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