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We’d like to introduce you to a free online course exploring the Medical Humanities from the University of Cape Town and offered in partnership with FutureLearn. Medicine and the Arts: Humanising Healthcare 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, this course offers an introduction to the emerging field of medical humanities via six 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. They will posecritical questions about how we deal with health, healing and being human.

The course 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 examines how  academic disciplines have become so rigid in their focus that they sometimes struggle to talk meaningfully to general audiences and other specialists. It also explores what potential can be unlocked by combining different fields of expertise and the silos of knowledge that otherwise separate them. You can read about the course inSteve Reid’s recent blog post.

The first time the course ran earlier this year 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 added another layer of richness to the perspectives shared on the course – read one learner’s review here. Through taking the course, participants can get an unusually broad exposure to the different disciplinary perspectives on topics within medical humanities.

The course runs from 21 September 2015, and anyone can enrol for free on the FutureLearn site.

For more information please visit the Future Learn course website.

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