Boone campus hosts launch of new PA Studies humanities elective
On July 23, Class of 2016 PA students on the Boone campus welcomed classmates
from the Winston-Salem campus for the first session of Sacred 7, a new
humanities elective in the Wake Forest program. After watching the 1991 film The Doctor, the 20 students enrolled in
the elective talked about their responses to the film during a discussion facilitated
by PA Studies faculty member Alexandra Godfrey. They were enthusiastic about
the session and the Sacred 7 course, reporting that they loved being able to do
something so different from their regular studies. And the Boone-based students
were really excited to show their Winston-Salem classmates around the recently
launched distant campus.
Class of 2016 students at the first session of Sacred 7
Sacred 7 provides activities in the health humanities that complement
and enhance the organ-system-based science and medicine of the required PA curriculum.
The Doctor – a film about a surgeon whose
experience as a patient with cancer turns him into a very different type of
doctor than he was before – was chosen to complement the hematology and
oncology unit in the regular curriculum. The course name, Sacred 7, refers to communication,
compassion, deep listening, empathy, reflection, resilience, and self-awareness
and was chosen to echo the seven questions students are taught to ask when
eliciting a patient’s history of present illness. Session activities provide students
with opportunities to explore and develop the Sacred 7 in themselves.
The course meets once a month July through April of the preclinical
year. During sessions, students view and discuss a film, discuss a reading, learn
a technique, or create art that explores nonclinical dimensions of the clinical
material they are currently studying. The course provides opportunities for them
to be reminded of, explore, and give voice to wider, holistic contexts for the
medicine they are learning and the medicine they will ultimately practice,
including the effects on patients of illness and experiences within health
systems and the effects on clinicians of witnessing illness, providing care to
patients, and working within health systems. Jill Grant and Tanya Gregory co-direct
the course; individual sessions are facilitated by various faculty members from
within PA Studies.