Healer's Art
2015-2016 academic year
FMED 30000 | 50 units
Course Type: Elective - Non-clinical

    Dr. Melanie Brown   
Primary Instructor:
    Brown, Melanie (773) 702-9659 mbrown@peds.bsd.uchicago.edu  
    Dr. Melanie Brown  (773) 702-9659  mbrown@peds.bsd.uchicago.edu   
Location on first day:
    BSLC 240
Included in Lottery:
Included in MedReg:
Course can be dropped:
Visiting Students:
Last reviewed:


The Healers' Art is an elective that is designed to help students and faculty reaffirm their commitment to the values which brought them to medicine, connect with genuine respect to each other, and find meaning in their work. At Pritzker, in addition to the standard Healer's Arts sessions and goals, we also provide exposure to Integrative Medicine and physician wellness.

The course consists of 5 mandatory sessions + additional sessions that focus on physician wellness:
1. Discovering and Nurturing Your Wholeness
2. Sharing Grief and Honoring Loss I
3. Sharing Grief and Honoring Loss II
4. Beyond Analysis: Allowing Awe in Medicine
5. The Care of the Soul: Service as a Way of Life

Each three hour session involves both large and small group settings. Small groups include one physician and generally five students, and the membership of the groups are the same throughout all sessions in order for deep and genuine relationship to develop. Student will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. There is currently space for 30 students.

The Healer’s Art was created by Dr. Rachel Remen at UCSF and is now offered at more than fifty medical schools in the US. Dr. Remen’s website, http://www.ishiprograms.org/programs/medical-educators-students/ provides additional details about the course.


The Healer's Art course will encourage students to:

• Identify, strengthen and cultivate the human dimensions of the practice of medicine
• Recognize the commonality of personal concerns among their peers and gain support for personal development from peers and faculty
• Accept the universality of loss and pain
• Recognize grief as a self-care strategy for physicians, and identify strategies and tools of grieving
• Recognize the importance of community for the healing of grief
• Trust the power of listening and presence to heal others
• Recognize that who they are is as important to their patients as what they know
• Strengthen and clarify a personal commitment to medicine as a life's work
• Develop an expanded definition of death
• Recognize the legitimacy of awe in medicine, and develop the capacity for awe


Students will:

• Make an active commitment to strengthening and preserving their humanity
• Experience the power of listening and being listened to
• Experience healing relationships with other students
• Experience tools of self-remembering and stress reduction
• Learn skills of grieving loss
• Recognize personal meaning as a protection against burnout
• Expand ideas about the physician's role in the area of death
• Recognize the power of death to clarify life values
• Recognize their experiences of service
• Discover their innate altruism/generosity


Attendance at the Wednesday evening sessions is mandatory.

Students are expected to write in a journal several times a week during the course.

Schedules Offered

This course is offered on a Quarterly Basis during the following quarters:
    Spring Quarter

AM - - - - - - -
PM - - - 6:30 -9:30 - - -

Schedule Notes

The dates for the Wednesday evening sessions are

March 30th – Session 1: Discovering and Nurturing Your Wholeness
April 6th – Intro to Physician Self Care and Wellness
April 13th - Session 2: Sharing Grief and Honoring Loss I
April 20th - Session 3: Sharing Grief and Honoring Loss II
April 27th – Arts and Medicine
May 4 - Session 4: Beyond Analysis, Allowing Awe in Medicine
May 11 - Session 5: The Care of the Soul, Service as a Way of Life
May 18th – Food as Medicine
May 25th – Sowing Circle
June 1st – Finding Meaning in Medicine Group

All the Wednesday dates will be at 6:30 in the evening and will run no later than 9:30. The course will run for 10 weeks from March 30th-June 3rd.

Each session will last 3 hours. The course meets in the evening. All students must attend all 5 sessions specified with a number.

Course Eligibility and Prerequisites

Max enrollment



    First Year