Teaching and Reading Vulnerability in Medical Humanities
Dr Matthew Reznicek, Brooke Kowalke, Nicole Piemonte, Kate McKillipZoom
While medicine itself often seeks to render visible microscopic or unknown aspects of the human body and the human condition, medical education in the United States depends to a large extent upon invisible elements. From the ‘invisible’ or ‘hidden’ curriculum to the intangible skills of bedside manner, we are caught between epistemological models that focus on measuring what we can see and treat, and a more humane recognition that the unseen, the overlooked, and the supposedly insignificant are essential to the patient-physician relationship. This panel seeks to interrogate the ways in which the Medical Humanities can challenge these epistemological and disciplinary oversights, bringing light to the overlooked aspects of health, care, and treatment. Together we will examine the overlooked aspects of emotional care and vulnerability in nineteenth-century fiction, the under-seen act of bearing witness, and the ways in which medical education and holistic patient care can shed light on students’ - and clinicians’ - vulnerabilities. We will draw on experiences in the classroom, the clinic, and literary fiction in order to speak across and between professional paradigms. By bringing together literary analysis, memoir studies, pedagogical reflection, and professional praxis, this panel attempts to overcome the disciplinary boundaries that contribute to making vulnerability an invisible part of our systems of medicine and medical education.
Matthew L. Reznicek -“He does not Suffer Now: Invisible Medical Anxieties in the National Tale”
Brooke Kowalke -“Making Visible the Under-seen Act of Bearing Witness in Memoirs of Dying and Death”
Nicole Piemonte - “The Invisible Influence of Medical Pedagogy: When the Medical Humanities are Not Enough”
Kate McKillip - “Transgressing the “hidden curriculum” with disclosure of uncertainty in palliative care”