University of Cape Town introduces the following;

UCTMOOCs_MedArts_2016febA free online course – Medicine and the Arts: Humanising Healthcare – from the University of Cape Town, which is offered through the online learning platform FutureLearn.

Over six weeks, the course explores the intersection of health sciences, social sciences and the arts. Led by anthropologist Associate Professor Susan Levine and primary healthcare doctor Professor Steve Reid of the University of Cape Town, it offers an introduction to the emerging field of medical humanities via these themes:

  • The Heart of the Matter: a Matter of the Heart
  • Children’s Voices and Healing
  • Mind, Art and Play
  • Reproduction and Innovation
  • Tracing Origins
  • Death and the Corpse

There are multiple contributors to the course including a psychologist, heart surgeon, pathologist, oncologist, geneticist, sociologist, poet, occupational therapist and visual artist. Together, they pose critical questions about how we deal with health, healing and being human.

Medicine and the Arts offers the opportunity for discussions with learners from all over the world in a flexible model which is designed to fit around other time commitments. It looks at how academic disciplines have become so rigid in their focus that they sometimes struggle to talk meaningfully to general audiences and other specialists across disciplines. The course also explores what potential can be unlocked by combining insights from different fields of expertise which are ordinarily separate and not in conversation with each other. You can read more about this in Steve Reid’s blog post.

The course ran twice last year, and both times it was well received, attracting global participants from the healthcare and allied professions, students, artists, practitioners of various therapies, as well as a large number of patients. This collection of voices adds another layer of richness to the perspectives shared. By taking the course, participants can get an unusually broad exposure to the different disciplinary perspectives on topics within medical humanities.

Medicine and the Arts will run from 29 February 2016, and anyone can enrol for free on the FutureLearn site. Also keep your eye out for future runs of the course.


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