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Medical Student Participation in Humanism in Medicine Initiative

Elizabeth Auckley

The Ohio State University College of Medicine


The Humanism in Medicine (HIM) Initiative is a student-led extracurricular organization that provides exposure of medical students to the arts and humanities as means to enhance humanistic and professional behaviors for medical students at The Ohio State University College of Medicine (OSUCOM). The HIM Initiative fosters compassion, creativity, and community in an effort to promote wellness and resiliency. Implemented in 2009, the HIM Initiative now embodies active art and service-oriented groups, including Dance in Medicine, On Call Knitting Creations, Orchestra, UltraSound A Capella, ImProv, Visual Arts, MedArts Gallery, Writer’s Group, Cultural Cooking, Language and Cultural Exchange, Diversions to Inspire Non-Traditional and Older Students, M2-M1 Mentorship Program, M1 Resiliency Retreat, Random Acts of Kindness (RAK), and Somali Health Initiative for Nutrition Education (SHINE). The HIM Initiative at OSUCOM is a national leader in their approach to extracurricular programming for medical students. This project sought to quantify voluntary student participation in the HIM Initiative. Subgroup membership, attendance lists, and leadership positions were collected to follow individual student activity across subgroups within the HIM Initiative. Preliminary data has been collected and finds 93% participation in first year medical students, with an average participation in two subgroups of the HIM Initiative. Of the most engaged subgroups are RAK (all students affected), M2-M1 Mentorship Program (81% participation), M1 Resiliency Retreat (21% M1 participation), and SHINE (15% participation). Over the 10-year lifespan of the HIM Initiative, there has been growth in the groups of the HIM Initiative with this data confirming a significant number of medical students at OSUCOM participating in the extracurricular programming offered. Further research is underway assessing the impact of the HIM Initiative on medical student outcomes at OSUCOM.

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