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Saint Barnabas Medical Center Pioneers New Program Bringing Humanities and Humanism to Medicine
Date:12/1/2008

LIVINGSTON, N.J., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- What do poetry, art, literature, film and history have to do with medical practice? "Everything," according to Richard S. Panush, M.D., Chair of Medicine at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, who has pioneered an innovative program bringing humanities to the bedside for residents in internal medicine.

"Studying the humanities helps us restore the 'soul' of medicine," explains Dr. Panush, who is a leader among a growing group of physicians and medical educators who are embracing the importance of including humanities education in the curriculum of medical students and residents as a means to enhance humanism, trust, empathy and compassion.

The Internal Medicine Residency program at Saint Barnabas Medical Center is among an elite group of 21 internal medicine residency programs selected out of 388 nationwide, to participate in the Educational Innovations Project (EIP), a challenge set forth by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the national organization responsible for accrediting residency training programs. In its call for proposals, the ACGME was seeking innovations to integrate improvements in medical education with improvements in quality and safety of patient care, noting that they are inextricably linked. The program was established in part with funds from the Harvey E. Nussbaum, MD, Research Institute of Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Saint Barnabas Medical Center. Funding has also been received from the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Community Advocates and the Somville-Tilling Fund. In October, The Health Care Foundation of New Jersey committed philanthropic support for this program. The program at Saint Barnabas Medical Center is the only one selected that focuses on humanities and humanism in medicine. Ultimately this project, along with the other selected innovation projects, may help to rewrite the future of medical education and p
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