On July 7, 2019, students from all across North American arrived in Hanover to check in for the exciting week ahead.
On the last day, participants participated in a Moth Minute, where they shared a few thoughts about how the week had changed them, their perspectives, or things they took away from their experience.
While they spoke, Eisner award-winning comic artist, writer, publisher, illustrator Ricardo “Liniers” Siri drew each of them.
Jazz, vampires, and tackling rugby dummies are not traditionally part of undergraduate health care studies. But the aspiring health care leaders who attended the Dartmouth Health Care Foundations Summer Institute are not interested in traditional approaches. Over the course of an intensive week, faculty and clinical experts guided students through a week of exploring how the humanities can offer new perspectives and strategies for improving patient care and creating a generation of resilient and compassionate health care professionals.
“To achieve real transformation in health care, our future leaders are going to have to be able to think holistically about science and the humanities. We designed Foundations to support students to think critically and creatively about health care,” says Director of Professional Education Manish K. Mishra, MD, MPH.
Day 1 Topics- Interdisciplinary Approaches to Health Care; Principles of Addiction; Lived Experiences of Addiction
Co-Directors Manish K. Mishra and Elizabeth Carpenter-Song, PhD, kicked off the week with an interactive exercise in which students worked collaboratively to describe “healthcare” in one word. Their diverse answers laid a strong foundation for the themes discussed during the remainder of the week.
Later in the morning, Alex Magleby ‘00, former Dartmouth rugby captain and head coach of the USA Olympic Rugby team, used a tackling exercise to illustrate important lessons for future health care professionals.
Magleby discussed how team dynamics on the rugby field can provide important lessons for students and health care professionals about giving and receiving feedback, productive responses to setbacks, and learning to support others.
The day ended powerfully with a patient’s own story of heroin addiction, as students explored the physiological processes and lived experiences of addiction.
Day 2 Topics- Faith and Care in Harlem; What is an Opiate? 99 Faces and changing the culture of mental illness; Managing Addiction in the Emergency Room
On the second day of the intensive, Vaughn Booker, PhD, Assistant Professor of Religion and African and African American Studies led a session on the work of jazz legend Mary Lou Williams who created the Bel Canto Foundation to help musicians suffering from substance abuse return to performing.
Booker’s scholarship illuminates how cultural creativity can be an important component of practices of care, comfort, and healing for marginalized communities.
Then Marianne Barthel, Director of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Arts Program, led participants through the 99 Faces Project designed to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
Finally, John T. Broderick, Jr., JD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Senior Director of External Affairs and Former Chief Justice of the NH Supreme Court shared his family’s journey of understanding mental health and learning how to deal with the signs of emotional suffering.
“The biggest thing this program has given me is confidence and hope—hope that, despite the complex issues facing health care today, the program offered real examples of how, when people from all fields work together, positive change can occur, both globally and in our local communities, for the most vulnerable populations..” – Adina Hari, student
Day 3 Topics- Re-thinking Opiates in a Global Context; Music and Medicine; Culture of Biomedicine and Marginalized Populations; Medical School and MPH Admissions Panel
Students connected via Skype with Smriti Rana, the program director for Pallium India, and M.R. Rajagopal, MD, widely considered to be the ‘father’ of palliative care in India, to discuss how Pallium is working to improve access to pain-relieving medicines in India. Rajagopal challenged students to attend to the “global burden of suffering” in their future careers in health care.
Later that day, Eisner Award winning Liniers, Argentine cartoonist, spoke with students about what success looks like, which is not always what one anticipates.
Anne Sosin, Director of the Dickey Center talked about the ways that the poor live and die in the U.S. and how to bring global health to these marginalized populations. Medical anthropologist Elizabeth Carpenter-Song, PhD, gave a detailed account of health care experiences among marginalized rural populations to provide insight into how the culture of biomedicine may contribute to the persistence of health disparities.
Day 3 ended with a lively panel discussion led by Aileen Panitz, Director of Admissions at the Geisel School of Medicine, and Courtney Theroux, Director of Admissions at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.
“We heard from so many brilliant speakers that hailed from all sorts of backgrounds ranging from healthcare to art, writing and music. These varied viewpoints allowed for a better picture to be painted of what healthcare is and how it can be included in so many different ways.” —Lucas Blackmore, Student
Day 4 Topics- Introduction to Motivational Interviewing; Mindfulness; Learning about Addiction by Studying the history of the Vampire; Improvisational teamwork
Caitlin Barthelmes, Director of the Student Wellness Center at Dartmouth, introduced students to Motivational Interviewing and methods for maintaining mindfulness throughout the day. Students practiced mindfulness through exploration of the surrounding woods and hills.
Mary Flanagan, PhD, the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth, talked about how the image of the vampire —a historically marginalized creature that behaves in conflicted ways, —provides a metaphor for studying addiction. The discussion focused on how critical reading and character development can help health care professionals to respond compassionately to those who are suffering.
The 4th day ended with Adjunct Assistant Professor Donald Glasgo, and Director, Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble, Emeritus and members of the Rusty Berrings Brass Band talked about improvisational teamwork. Their musical foray culminated in a kazoo performance including the students.
Day 5 Topics- Health care is “Broken”; Disrupting Education in Order to Create Patient-Centered Community Services and Social Capital
The last day built on the core themes of the week to identify ways in which contemporary global health care is “broken” and to develop strategies for addressing urgent challenges.
Students connected via Skype with Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, MD, PhD, former Minister of Health of Rwanda and the vice chancellor for the University of Global Health Equity in Kigali, Rwanda. Binagwaho invited students to model their advocacy on her renowned work creating patient-centered services through community engagement and participation.
The lesson of the importance of providing care that meets the needs of communities was then extended by Professor Glyn Elwyn, MD, PhD, who discussed patient preferences as a guide for health care. Elwyn presented the approach of Shared Decision Making, giving students a specific framework and method for placing patient preferences at the center of care.
In the afternoon, students shared what they aspire to carry forward with them from the week in the format of a “moth minute.” Certificates were given to participants in a short ceremony accented by the impromptu accompaniment of kazoos from fellow classmates.
Certificates were given to participants in a short ceremony accented by the impromptu accompaniment of kazoos from fellow classmates.
“The greatest part about this program was meeting so many like-minded students from around the country with so many great ideas. They offered new perspectives into the inequities built into the healthcare system that gave me hope for its future. I was surrounded by brilliant people hoping to use their career in medicine to make changes, which was empowering.”—Jasmine Myftija, student
Check out lots of pics from the week on Flickr.