More than 20,000 health care providers across the world wear a golden, penny-sized lapel pin on their white coats. In the middle of the pin sits a red enamel heart surrounded by the phrase “The Healer’s Art.”
This spring, the UD Physician Assistant Program became the first PA program to offer The Healer’s Art course. The pin, given to course graduates, serves as a reminder of lessons learned, but it also is an invitation for providers to approach one another in a time of need.
The Healer’s Art course is a product of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Wright State University (Ohio) Boonshoft School of Medicine. Dr. Rachel Remen designed the course in 1991 to address topics not usually discussed in medical school. Deep listening, acceptance, grief and loss, healing and self-care are some of the topics found on the syllabus.
“The course is both transformative and informational,” said Dr. Evangeline Andarsio, director of the National Healer’s Art Program. “It takes vision and courage to be innovators and the first PA program to offer the course.”
Twenty-two students took five sessions of the optional, ungraded course that required open ears and no textbooks.
Student Paige Brennan said the sessions facilitated a bond among the students and an awareness of emotions often not nurtured during a rigorous medical curriculum.
“The class gives you the tools necessary to bring out your best self,” Brennan said. “We will be more compassionate providers.”