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St Mary's Bioethics Scholar Publishes Paper on Poetry in Medical Education

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Programme Director for MA in Bioethics and Medical Law at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, Dr Trevor Stammers has published a new paper on the use of poetry in medical education. The paper, entitled Healing Allusions? The use of poetry in teaching medicine was published in the latest edition of Journal of Contemporary Medical Education and included in this week’s top ten newsfeed. This paper aims to encourage medical teachers who have never thought of using poetry in their teaching to do so and comes at a time when the NHS is looking towards both enriching clinical training and refining the approach clinicians have towards their patients. The increasing profile of poetry in medical teaching is outlined, and the many advantages of poetry as a teaching medium in medicine are discussed using multiple examples from teaching materials used by Dr Stammers. Some of the potential pitfalls of poetry use are also explained and discussed. Dr Stammers said, "There is remarkably little at all in the academic literature, even in that specialising on the humanities and medicine, that focuses on ways of using poetry in teaching health care professionals. Poetry is still often regarded as an esoteric art totally removed from clinical practice. Whereas, my article demonstrates there are key areas such as consultation skills where analysing poetry can really improve the practitioners ability to listen and enhance both communication and diagnostic acumen."
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