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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Health Sciences hosts humanism celebration

Regardless of Tuesday’s rainy weather, more than 100 guests joined hands to form a human chain meant to symbolize standing in solidarity for compassionate patient care.

The human chain was formed at the second annual Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care in the Arizona Health Sciences Plaza.

“Where there is love for medicine there has to be love for humanism,” said Alok Patel, president of Gold Humanism Honor Society and fourth-year medicine student.

Volunteers held up banners with the seven attributes of humanism in medicine — integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect, empathy and service. The seven pillars represent the main assets that govern the humanism society and interacting with patients, according to Patel.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society is a national organization that celebrates these pillars of humanistic patient care in medicine. It has organized an annual day to commemorate the humanistic spirit of patient care.

“We can’t control change and we can’t control complex systems, but today we signify the one thing we can control, the sanity of the patient and practitioner relationship,” Patel said in his opening speech.

The event started with staff, faculty and students filling out a card with the names of colleagues who demonstrate humanism in medicine and descriptions of humanistic acts.

“Humanism is just as important as knowing what medicine to describe or how to perform a surgery, because the definition of a good practitioner or a doctor includes being caring, compassionate, and putting the patient in the center of everything we do,” said Andreas Theodorou, Critical Care section chief and professor of pediatrics.

Upon entering, purple ribbons were handed out to guests by Sigrid Gardner, a fourth-year medicine student, as a symbol of humanism recognition.

Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care was held by the Gold Humanism Honor Society to recognize those with humanism as well as pay tribute to all compassionate caregivers. The organization recognizes individuals who exemplify humanistic patient care and inspire humanism in others.

“You can be the smartest person in the world, but if you don’t have the elements for humanism such as being compassionate, you are not going to be a good physician,” said Kevin Moynahan, deputy dean for education. “Because so much of what we do is based on our relationship with our patients in trusting us. If we don’t have that trust, there is no way we can bond with them and give them the proper care they deserve.”

After speeches by Theodorou and Moynahan, the event featured a choral performance by Doc-Apella, a musical group of UA medical students.

The event ended with readings of poetry by Jason Patel, a second-year medicine student, and cards from the display boards that tell stories of patients.

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