Join Duke in DC and the Duke Health Humanities Lab for a conversation about the important role the humanities are playing during COVID-19

Patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic can, by necessity, be impersonal, often separating doctors and patients by face shields, masks and even robot intermediaries. This moment provides a unique opportunity to reevaluate how we train and prioritize the entire patient care team. Educating doctors and nurses, not just in the hard sciences, but in the humanities can significantly improve diagnoses, patient satisfaction and as a result, overall health outcomes.

Physician burnout, especially prevalent today, can be detrimental to the health care system. The emerging health humanities curriculum proposes new tools to help providers better manage the stress and trauma of their jobs so they, in turn, can provide better care for others.

As critical as the role doctors and nurses have in our nation’s COVID-19 response, we must also recognize the health care ecosystem includes hospital housekeepers, custodians and additional support staff who have distanced themselves from their loved ones and are often some of a patient’s only in-person emotional support .

In this discussion, we will address how the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the interconnectedness of the humanities and healthcare. Our panelists will reflect on how we prioritize physician training in the U.S. and the numerous areas that health and the humanities can be linked to help reimagine medicine to the benefit of patients and providers alike. This conversation will cover how state and federal policy can be shaped to help encourage humanities-based curriculum for physicians in order to improve the overall U.S. health care system.

Our event speakers include:

Deborah Jensen

  • Co-Director of Duke’s Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) Health Humanities Lab
  • Professor of Romance Studies and Global Health at Duke University

Neil Prose

  • Co-Director of the FHI Health Humanities Lab
  • Professor of Dermatology, Pediatrics and Global Health at Duke University

Megha Gupta

  • Medical School Student at Duke University
  • Student Affiliate at the FHI Health Humanities Lab

Marina Tsaplina

  • Interdisciplinary Performing Artist
  • Lab Affiliate at the FHI Health Humanities Lab

Cuquis Robledo

  • Lab Manager at the FHI Health Humanities Lab