Stella Maris Roma1,2; Fernando Adrián Pérez1; María Eugenia D’Ottavio3; Alberto Enrique D’Ottavio1,2
Correspondence should be addressed to Alberto Enrique D’Ottavio. Email: email@example.com
Received in July 08, 2019. Accepted in July 27, 2019
ROMA, S. M.; PÉREZ, F. A.; D’OTTAVIO, M. E. & D’OTTAVIO, A. E. Developing cultural competences in medical curricula: a literary experience. J. health med. sci., 5(3):149-152, 2019.
ABSTRACT: The weakening and depreciation of reading, the still uncertain role of humanities in medical curricula and the need for contributing to solve both deficiencies are current realities. In this regard, a proposed extramural and multidisciplinary six-step literary reading approach based on information and communication technologies was applied to thirty-five second-year medical students assisting to the annual training course on Histology and Embryology. Taken into account some difficulties during its fulfilling, the students were also individually interviewed after ending their task. They stated that weaknesses were particularly focused in steps 1 to 4 included, rather complex for them, guessing that it could be essentially related with shortcomings in literary reading training brought from high school. Simultaneously, they highlighted several strengths making the approach hopeful towards the future since these prevailed over the registered and potentially surmountable weaknesses. To conclude, some timely reflections are added on the relevance of combining information and communication technologies and literary reading for developing related cultural competences in medical curricula.
KEY WORDS: literature, reading, medicine, curriculum, information and communication technologies.
Although they received previous simulator training, all the students revealed particular difficulties in fulfilling steps 1 to 4 included. Therefore, they were also individually interviewed asking each one to list strengths and weaknesses.
All of them repeated that weaknesses were particularly focused in steps 1 to 4 included following this difficulty sequence: 4-3-1-2 in thirty of the thirty- five students. They perceived those items as tasks rather complex and guessed that it could be essentially related to shortcomings in literary reading, history and geography training during high school.
Conversely, they rescued as strengths that this kind of exercise, not restricted to the narration itself, allowed them: (a) to contextualize the author’s life, as well as the plot and his/her creation, incorporating, recovering and integrating previous isolated and/or absent knowledge about history, geography and other disciplines; (b) to increase the quantity and quality of lexicon and speech figures, learning also some etymologies and avoiding some barbarisms and solecisms too, and (d) to foster virtual journeys or related on-line documentary films. For instance, the student who read Dan Brown’s novel Inferno told that, by employing Google maps, she could virtually travel with the protagonists along the Florentine gardens of Boboli, whereas the student who chose The Citadel stated that he searched in YouTube documentary films on the author, the novel and other people’s remarks about both.
Finally, all of them stated that the strengths satisfactorily prevailed over the potentially surmountable weaknesses.
This communication proposes an extramural and multidisciplinary six-step literary reading approach based on ICT intending to solve the challenge of developing cultural competences in medical undergraduates from a literary viewpoint whose relevance was opportunely emphasized by Calman et al., 1988; Hunter et al., 1995; Shigley,
Finally, as a final thought, two quotations rescued by D’Ottavio: 1. Because of its relevance in developing cultural competences and in humanizing Medicine, this kind of challenges demands, as minimum: reiteration and diversification from the beginning to the end of the medical career, professional teachers and taking advantage of any corresponding teaching-learning situation existing in medical curricula. 2. Literary reading, for those people working in the health area, makes possible to overcome the unforgettable aphorism from the nineteenth century Catalonian anatomo-pathologist D. Joseph of Letamendi and Manjarrés: «The physician who knows only medicine, not even knows medicine”.
2013; Shapiro et al., 2015 and D’Ottavio, 2019. Calman et al.,1988 described the employment of books, plays and poems related with medical and non- medical themes in medical students and referred not only that students enjoyed the course and particularly welcomed the non-medical components but that the staff learned at least as much as the students, as occurred in our case. However, the remaining authors center their contributions in ge- neral proposals without doing any particular experience like this.
Going beyond it, some final reflections on the relevance of combining ICTs and literary reading for medical humanization may be timely. Firstly, no bibliographic references were found linking the issues here treated. Secondly, ICT offers varied and current possibilities (Agámez et al., 2009).
Furthermore, unlike the past when the employment of encyclopedias and many texts along with hours to gather and combine such multidisciplinary information were needed, today’s ICT enables the same task more efficiently, practically and retentively (Agámez et al.).
Thus, cultural gathering will offer more powerful tools for a fruitful personal learning; more enjoyable teaching; more creative scientific-technological research and a richer daily life since literary reading foster and enhance each other and, last but not least, enrich reading, writing and speaking.
To conclude, the objective of this paper may be considered achieved since the here presented extramural and multidisciplinary six-step literary reading approach based on ICT revealed highlighted strengths which make it hopeful towards the future.
ROMA, S. M; PÉREZ, F. A.; D’OTTAVIO, M. E. & D’OTTAVIO, A. E. Desarrollando competencias culturales en currículos médicos: una experiencia literaria. J. health med. sci., 5(3):149-152, 2019.
RESUMEN:El debilitamiento y la depreciación de la lectura, el rol aún incierto de las humanidades en los currículos médicos y la necesidad de contribuir a resolver ambas deficiencias constituyen una realidad actual. En ese sentido, se aplicó un diseño de seis pasos de lectura literaria, extramural, multidisciplinaria y basada en tecnologías de información y comunicación, a treinta y cinco estudiantes de segundo año de Medicina asistentes al curso anual de entrenamiento en Histología y Embriología. Considerando algunas dificultades detectadas durante el proceso, también se hicieron entrevistas individuales tras finalizar la labor. Ellos afirmaron que las debilidades se focalizaban en los pasos del 1 al 4 incluidos, lo que les resultó particularmente complejo, suponiendo que esto se atribuye a deficiencias del material literario traído de las escuelas secundarias. Simultáneamente, percibieron la experiencia como esperanzadora hacia el futuro ya que las fortalezas adjudicadas prevalecían sobre debilidades detectadas y que pueden superarse. A modo de conclusión, se realizan algunas reflexiones oportunas sobre la combinación entre la lectura literaria y las tecnologías de información y comunicación para desarrollar competencias culturales relacionadas en los currículos médicos.
PALABRAS CLAVE: literatura, lectura, medicina, currículo, tecnologías de información y comunicación.
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Alberto Enrique D’Ottavio
Facultad de Ciencias Médicas