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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.

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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.



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PA Studies

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Last Updated: 07-24-2014
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