Celebrate Medical Humanities Week with these events

The human condition is rife with complexity, ambiguity, joys and sorrows. Nowhere is this more evident than in the practice of medicine. To help students connect with the deeply human aspects of health care, DMU’s Medical Humanities Society (MHS), in conjunction with other campus organizations, is offering a special series of events Dec. 11-14.

“Our goal for Medical Humanities Week is that students are able to reflect back on why we chose medicine,” says MHS President Amy Eisenberg, a dual-degree student in DMU’s osteopathic medical program and master of health care administration program. “Sometimes in the daily grind of school, those reasons become less tangible. We planned this week at the end of the fall semester with the hope that students will have the opportunity to remind themselves of the humanity and compassion that is integral to the practice of medicine, and to carry that energy forward into the new year.”

These events will highlight the week:

Monday, Dec. 11, noon hour, SEC 115: Improv in Medicine

Kick off MHS Week with improvisation! Greg Kolbinger, M.P.A.S., PA-C, assistant professor of family and internal medicine, will connect skills and principles used in improv comedy to improving your medical practice as a provider through the use of fun, interactive improv games and discussion. No prior experience necessary. No judgment.

Tuesday, Dec. 12, noon hour, SEC 115: Introduction to Art Therapy Workshop

Learn about the field of art therapy and the patient populations it benefits from Roberta Victor, Ph.D., ATR-BC, who teaches and directs the Grand View University art therapy program and is the full-time executive director of CROSS Ministries, a homelessness and hunger prevention agency with the Presbytery of Des Moines. This workshop will be part lecture and part experiential to demonstrate what an art therapy session might look like.

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 5 p.m., SEC Auditorium: Health and Harmony: The Music of Medicine

Co-sponsored by the Student Osteopathic Surgery Association

Explore a galaxy beyond your dreams with DMU alumnus Adam Dachman, D.O., who will share some insights and music he’s composed from a realm far beyond medical school. Learn from a seasoned veteran surgeon who has combined his musical training and talents into a combined professional life of medicine and music. Learn how to continue developing your own personal skills and abilities beyond medical training to create a masterpiece titled “Your Life.” Your patients will be glad you did.

Dr. Dachman practices general surgery and is acting chief of surgery at Upland Hills Health in southwest Wisconsin. A 1990 graduate of the DMU College of Osteopathic Medicine who has been board-certified since 1996, he has been an innovator of surgical techniques, an avid participant in the health care of his communities and a philanthropist. He also has a unique background as a pianist, composer and author of a children’s book. He continues to hone his artistry and blend his music with his surgical practice.

Wednesday, Dec. 13, noon hour, Ruza Lecture Hall: A Conversation on the Intersection Between End of Life Care and Primary Care

Co-sponsored by Oncology Club and Geriatrics Club

This discussion with panelists representing health care providers, funeral homes and grief counselors will provide insights into the lives of individuals and families who have loved ones who are dying and who have died. These insights may enhance students’ abilities as future health care providers to connect with patients who are experiencing these moments in their lives and to understand the implications of how death and dying affect the health and well-being of family members and loved ones.

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m., Ruza Lecture Hall: “Bending the Arc”

Co-sponsored by the Global Health Student Club

The film “Bending the Arc” tells the story of Dr. Paul Farmer, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, activist Ophelia Dahl, Todd McCormack and investor Thomas White, leaders who changed global health forever by creating a community health model to treat diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. They started in Haiti, in places with such large barriers to health care that the rest of the world had largely given up on them. “Bending the Arc” is an inspiring full-length documentary film that tells their story. A brief discussion will follow the film.

Thursday, Dec. 14, noon hour, Library Reading Room: Exploring the Archives

Explore the archives of the Rare Book Room in this final event of Medical Humanities Week! Join Wayne Wilson, Ph.D., chair of biochemistry and nutrition; Rachel Dunn, Ph.D., assistant professor of anatomy; and Professor Emeritus Gary Hoff, D.O., as they present the stories of unique items from the Rare Book Room.

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