Review Articlevolume 2 Issue 4

Abstract  

During the 20th century, the sociocultural paradigm of the West underwent a significant change, imposing antihuman values. This metamorphosis (individualism, the desire for power and wealth prevailed over brotherhood and compassion) was coincided with extraordinary scientific and technical development. The new paradigm colonized the minds of physicians and medical training curricula. Medicine became self-centered, cold, fragmented, and practically ignored affectivity. The reaction to this spiritual degradation of medicine was the humanist movement in medicine that originated in the twentieth century but has been developed more in the XXI century, spreading through many countries in the West and also in the East. Currently in the curricula of many schools we find the area of “Humanization of medicine”. In the Faculty of Medicine of the CLAEH University of Uruguay “Humanismo Medico” (HM) is a compulsory subject that is taken during 3 clinical years (70 hours per year) and its practice is experiential. Likewise, we have found it of great interest to know the perceptions, reflections and feelings (self-declared) of the students about their own changes at the end of all the training cycles of HM. Based on 77 opinions (out of 111 issued) of 20 4th year students, we were able to verify that taking HM had caused very important changes in them towards a more humanistic identity. They state that they perceived; 1) a deep inner rational and affective transformation and they observed an increase in their introspection, critical thinking, self-analysis, empathy and emotional balance, 2) greater capacity to plan a professional life with greater well-being, 3) improvement of group interrelationship, which has been more open, sincere and fraternal; 4) ability to share reflections and anguish and 5) acquisition of a holistic view of sick people and better skills to listen and accompany them, and relate to their families.

What is Medical Humanism?
Humanism (H) is a school of thought, a deep feeling and a way of life. It is multidimensional and complex, and its rebirth. Application and integration to all medical activities (practice and academic training in pre and postgraduate degrees) or Medical Humanism (MH) is imperative [1, 2]. The GOLD Foundation has proposed 7 main attributes that characterize the humanistic doctor: integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect, empathy, and service or IECARES [3, 4]. In our medical career, MH is based on three basic principles: 1) comprehensive knowledge of the human being in all its aspects (mind, body, affections, values, project, family, society) both in health and illness: holistic vision; 2) development, support and practice of empathy, cooperation, solidarity, respect and care, especially of the weakest, such as our patients; 3) balanced integral development of students as people in all possible levels (rational, affective, scientific, professional, interpersonal, social, artistic) and deep self-knowledge.