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Primus inter pares

The Doctor as a Humanist- a new international project at I.M. Sechenov First MSMU!

The Doctor as a Humanist- a new international project at I.M. Sechenov First MSMU!      Mr. Jonathan McFarland, the head of the Academic Writing office at Sechenov Medical University, held a master class on the role of Humanities in  life and practical activities of a modern physician on 21 November, 2016.
     After the master class a new international project “The Doctor as a Humanist”, which united First MSMU, Queen’s University of Belfast and some other foreign medical universities, was introduced.  
       The master class and the presentation of the project was organized in cooperation with the Center for Research Career (Head- Prof. O. Morozova),  Academic Writing Office (Head- Mr. Jonathan Mcfarland) and the student scientific society of the Department Foreign Languages  (Head- Prof. I.Markovina). Just before the master class the student of the 5th year, Catherine Shulenina, made a short report on the international student Congress in biomedical sciences.
          She shared her vivid impressions of the Congress ISCOMS (Groningen, the Netherlands), where she had presented her research project and gave some of her “Tips & Tricks” on participation in international congresses: how to attract the attention of professionals via motivation letter, how to get to the best international student events.
        Professor I.Markovina, the head of the Foreign Languages Department, came out with a welcome note: “It’s a honor for me to introduce you Jonathan McFarland, the head of the Academic Writing Office, and Istvan Lenart, associate professor of the First MSMU Foreign Languages Department. Today we’re working together to promote cross-cultural cooperation among the medical students worldwide. Our goal is to educate a new generation of highly skilled medical professionals with competence in the Humanities and Linguistics.”
      Mr. Jonathan McFarland started his master class with an important ethical question about a bedside manner, a proper approach to the patient: “A bedside manner is the most important component of the treatment process, which allows you to build a relationship between a doctor and a patient on mutual empathy, trust and compassion. But how should you learn the proper bedside manner? Unfortunately, natural science isn’t able to answer this question. So, the main role in looking for an answer here belongs to the Humanities”.
Are the doctors interested in the psychological status of their patients? Do they ask about the impact of the disease or chosen treatment on the quality of life? Do they pay attention to the soul & mind of the patient? Do they realize that the issues about the meaning of life, life happiness, death and morality are very important for a doctor?  Don’t we see now a situation which reminds us a “dehumanization” of medicine? The participants discussed various deontological issues. It was agreed that medical ethics and professionalism are strongly associated with the Humanities. Mr. Jonathan McFarland admitted that he was pleasantly impressed by the high level of the ethical culture among the First MSMU students.
       After the master class Mr. Jonathan McFarland presented a new international project “The Doctor as a Humanist”, which was designed to introduce humanitarians in the medical field. “The Doctor as a Humanist” is not only an international educational platform, but also a research communicational centre. The participants of the project will have an access to educational courses in various humanitarians and a possibility of running their own research in medical ethics.
    The First Symposium of the project “The Doctor as a Humanist” most likely will be held in Spain in October 2017. For participation send a motivation letter and an essay on the work Raymond Carver “What the Doctor Said?” (Please contact to for more detailed information).
      The audience welcomed the project highly warmly and joyfully. After all, international projects open new opportunities and new horizons for career growth!