Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Jefferson Humanities & Health

Mike Natter, SKMC Class of 2017, "Neural Expressions," <br />ink on paper, 2017

Jefferson encourages student engagement in the arts and humanities in recognition of their capacity to foster essential skills related to healthcare including observation, critical thinking, self-reflection and empathy.

Each academic year, the Dr. Yoshihisa Asano Humanities & Health Series explores a thought-provoking theme from a broad range of perspectives, inviting consideration and action around urgent issues impacting how we improve lives. Series programs promote understanding of the social contexts of health and wellness, the lived experiences of diverse individuals and communities, and self-care for health professionals. During the 2017-2018 academic year, the Asano Humanities & Health Series investigates the theme Safety.

Throughout the year, series programs will explore dimensions of Safety, including:

  • Safety as a social privilege related to age, ability, gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation 
  • Inequities as causes of health vulnerabilities 
  • Burnout prevention for health professionals 
  • Creating safe spaces and supporting diversity of opinion 
  • Risk-taking in art, design and entrepreneurship 

Students are invited to complete the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate by attending eight series events during the academic year and completing a portfolio of reflective response essays. Students who complete the certificate will be recognized during a Spring 2018 celebration.

CLICK HERE to learn more and register now for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate. 

Events below marked with an asterisk (*) may be counted toward the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate.  

Please note: Events are added to the calendar below as they are confirmed. Please check regularly for additional events. 

The Dr. Yoshihisa Asano Humanities & Health Series is named for Dr. Yoshihisa Asano, whose generous support enables Jefferson educational programs that advance humanism and compassionate care. 

Questions? Contact Megan Voeller, Director of Humanities, Megan.Voeller@jefferson.edu.  

Announcements & Ongoing Programs

Jefferson students can take advantage of student discounts and pay-as-you-wish programs at many Philadelphia cultural organizations, including theaters and museums. For a select list of such programs, click here and scroll to Arts & Humanities. 

Inside Out is an annual art and literary journal which showcases photography, paintings and sketches, short stories, poems and essays by Jefferson students. All Jefferson students are welcome to submit their work to future editions of Inside Out.

A call for submissions is issued in the fall of each year, but current students may submit material at any time during the year. Interested students can contact Dorissa Bolinski, the journal's staff advisor.

To view and download a PDF of the 2017 issue, click here

From Kaitlyn Brown
Editor-in-Chief, The Digital Voice
Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)
brown5672@mail.philau.edu
The Digital Voice: http://wordpress.philau.edu/thevoice/

The Digital Voice is a student-run online and printed publication of the Law and Society program at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) whose goal is to be a vessel in order to allow the students’ voices to be heard. While originating from the law program, a large portion of our staff comes to us from different majors, allowing for the broad array of articles topics that we have published, including, but not limited to, politics, culture, pop culture, current events, news, medicine, etc.

One of the best aspects of our publication is that the writers have the opportunity to choose the topics of their articles, allowing them to write about a things that truly interest them. As of last year, “medical” has become a major category on our website, as there was a strong interest in the subject. As our university expands to your medical institution, we want to give you all the same opportunity to write about things that are important to you. For example, if there is an important medical discovery you are passionate about or a research project that you are working on, we would love to have you write about it in the Digital Voice. Of course, you are not limited to write strictly about medicine, you are more than free to write articles concerning anything you would like.

If you wish to become a member, submit an article or have any questions concerning the Digital Voice, please contact me at brown5672@mail.philau.edu.

Calling on medical student creativity to get involved with the promotion of mental health and well-being at the Delaware Valley area medical schools!

“The elephant in the room” (idiom) - A situation that is very obvious but not discussed or addressed.

We are looking for medical students in the Delaware Valley to create, vote on, and select a poster that uses the theme of “the elephant in the room” to raise awareness about the need to care for one’s mental wellness, and remind fellow medical students that it is ok to seek help.

The hope is that this campaign will serve to both recognize and diminish the stigma associated with seeking help.

The designers of the winning poster will receive recognition at the Mutter Mixer on November 1st at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and will receive a prize.  The winning poster will be displayed in all of the Delaware Valley medical schools.

Want more information?

Visit http://collegeofphysicians.org/dvmswc to see full contest information. All submissions are due by October 13, 2017.

Please contact Rose Milani at rose.milani@jefferson.edu with any questions.

Health Ecologies Reading Group at Jefferson Humanities and Health

Mondays 12-1 p.m., September 18-December 18, 2017
Location: Scott Memorial Library Room 200A

Jefferson Humanities and Health and the Health Ecologies Lab at the University of Pennsylvania are excited to offer a reading group to students, faculty, staff and community members. We will gather weekly to think critically about health as it is understood across disciplines, institutions, and social systems in order to envision new ecologies of health.

The reading group offers an informal learning environment, facilitated by participants from the humanities, social policy and health disciplines. This semester we will be reading 'Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality' (2010), a collection of essays edited by Jonathan M. Metzl and Anna Kirkland that examine the politics of health. Topics include our relationship to food, race, disability, mental health, sexuality, and more.

All are welcome. Lunch provided on a first-come, first-serve basis; please feel free to bring your own lunch. 

PDF copies of the readings may be downloaded from the Health Ecologies Lab website: http://healthecologieslab.org/initiatives/reading-group-at-jefferson

If you are interested in participating, please subscribe to our listserv: info@healthecologieslab.org

Questions? Contact Megan Voeller, Director of Humanities, Thomas Jefferson University, megan.voeller@jefferson.edu

*Students may earn credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate by attending this event. (One reading group meeting counts as one event.)

Schedule of Readings

September 18
Introduction: Why ‘Against Health’?
Jonathan M. Metzl  

What Is Health and How Do You Get It?
Richard Klein

September 25
Risky Bigness: On Obesity, Eating, and the Ambiguity of ‘Health’
Lauren Berlant

October 2
Against Global Health? Arbitrating Science, Non-Science, and Nonsense through Health
Vincanne Adams  

October 9
The Social Immorality of Health in the Gene Age: Race, Disability, and Inequality
Dorothy Roberts

October 16
Fat Panic and the New Morality
Kathleen LeBesco

October 23
Against Breastfeeding (Sometimes)
Joan B. Wolf  

October 30
Pharmaceutical Propaganda
Carl Elliott  

November 6
The Strangely Passive-Aggressive History of Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder
Christopher Lane

November 13
Obsession: Against Mental Health
Lennard J. Davis

November 20
Atomic Health, or How The Bomb Altered American Notions of Death
Joseph Masco  

November 27
How Much Sex Is Healthy? The Pleasures of Asexuality
Eunjung Kim  

December 4
Be Prepared
S. Lochlann Jain

December 11
In the Name of Pain
Tobin Siebers

December 18
Conclusion: What Next?
Anna Kirkland

Did you know that 40% of children residing in Philadelphia live below the poverty line?  

The experience of poverty has far reaching implications, even impacting longterm health and survival. The faculty of the Jefferson College of Nursing will be running a Poverty Simulation this fall to expose students to the realities of living with a limited income. Jefferson students from all disciplines are invited to participate.   

When can I participate?

Thursday, October 19, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

What’s in it for me as a student? 
A great experience with fellow students, pizza before the event, and a certificate of completion. (Include it in your resume/portfolio!)

How can I sign up?
Please use the links below to sign up (first-come basis, limited spots available):  

Thursday, October 19, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107
www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E044FACAD23A7FE3-poverty2

Questions? Contact Karen Alexander, MSN, RN, Instructor, Jefferson College of Nursing, Karen.Alexander@jefferson.edu.  

*Students may earn credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate by attending this event. 

Did you know that 40% of children residing in Philadelphia live below the poverty line?  

The experience of poverty has far reaching implications, even impacting longterm health and survival. The faculty of the Jefferson College of Nursing will be running a Poverty Simulation this fall to expose students to the realities of living with a limited income. Jefferson students from all disciplines are invited to participate.  

 

When can I participate?

Thursday, September 14, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

Thursday, September 28, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

Thursday, October 19, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

 

What’s in it for me as a student?  

A great experience with fellow students, pizza before the event, and a certificate of completion. (Include it in your resume/portfolio!)

 

How can I sign up?

Please use the links below to sign up (first-come basis, limited spots available): 

 

Thursday, September 14, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E044FACAD23A7FE3-poverty2

 

Thursday, September 28, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E044FACAD23A7FE3-poverty2

 

Thursday, October 19, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E044FACAD23A7FE3-poverty2

 

Questions? Contact Karen Alexander, MSN, RN, Instructor, Jefferson College of Nursing, Karen.Alexander@jefferson.edu. 

 

*Students may earn credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate by attending this event. 

Did you know that 40% of children residing in Philadelphia live below the poverty line?  

The experience of poverty has far reaching implications, even impacting longterm health and survival. The faculty of the Jefferson College of Nursing will be running a Poverty Simulation this fall to expose students to the realities of living with a limited income. Jefferson students from all disciplines are invited to participate.  

 

When can I participate?

Thursday, September 14, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

Thursday, September 28, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

Thursday, October 19, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

 

What’s in it for me as a student?  

A great experience with fellow students, pizza before the event, and a certificate of completion. (Include it in your resume/portfolio!)

 

How can I sign up?

Please use the links below to sign up (first-come basis, limited spots available): 

 

Thursday, September 14, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E044FACAD23A7FE3-poverty2

 

Thursday, September 28, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E044FACAD23A7FE3-poverty2

 

Thursday, October 19, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E044FACAD23A7FE3-poverty2

 

Questions? Contact Karen Alexander, MSN, RN, Instructor, Jefferson College of Nursing, Karen.Alexander@jefferson.edu. 

 

*Students may earn credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate by attending this event. 

Did you know that 40% of children residing in Philadelphia live below the poverty line?  

The experience of poverty has far reaching implications, even impacting longterm health and survival. The faculty of the Jefferson College of Nursing will be running a Poverty Simulation this fall to expose students to the realities of living with a limited income. Jefferson students from all disciplines are invited to participate.  

 

When can I participate?

Thursday, September 14, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

Thursday, September 28, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

Thursday, October 19, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

 

What’s in it for me as a student?  

A great experience with fellow students, pizza before the event, and a certificate of completion. (Include it in your resume/portfolio!)

 

How can I sign up?

Please use the links below to sign up (first-come basis, limited spots available): 

 

Thursday, September 14, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E044FACAD23A7FE3-poverty2

 

Thursday, September 28, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E044FACAD23A7FE3-poverty2

 

Thursday, October 19, 12-2:30 p.m., BLSB 105/107

www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E044FACAD23A7FE3-poverty2

 

Questions? Contact Karen Alexander, MSN, RN, Instructor, Jefferson College of Nursing, Karen.Alexander@jefferson.edu. 

 

*Students may earn credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate by attending this event. 

The Empathy Project, a collaboration between Jefferson and Lantern Theater Company, seeks to foster empathy and tolerance for ambiguity among health professions students using the tools and techniques of the theatrical form. Through performance exercises, adaptation, and collaboration, we challenge students to engage with characters possessing a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints, while simultaneously asking students to work with an eye toward the audiences for the stories they tell.

Each year, Lantern teaching artists lead a group of Jefferson students and health professionals through a series of workshops designed to introduce them to the theatrical form, explore the basic tools of actors and playwrights, and guide participants through the writing and staging of original short plays. The program culminates in a live presentation of selected plays written by participants, performed by an ensemble of Lantern artists and program participants for an audience of students, staff and community members.

Participants have praised the program for its adaptation of theatrical tools to the practices of clinical observation and diagnosis, as well as for engendering greater empathy for their patients and colleagues.

Class Dates, Times and Locations

Fall 2017
Mon., Oct. 9, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308
Mon., Oct. 16, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308
Mon., Nov. 6, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308
Mon., Nov. 13, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308
Mon., Nov. 27, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308
Mon., Dec. 4, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308
Mon., Dec. 11, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308  

Spring 2018
Mon., Jan. 22, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308
Mon., Jan. 29, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308 
Mon., Feb. 5, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 408 
Mon., Feb. 12, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308 
Mon., Feb. 26, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308
Mon., Mar. 5, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 308
Mon., Mar. 19, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 408
Mon., Mar. 26, 7-9 p.m. - Hamilton 408  

More about The Empathy Project

Empathy experiment takes doctors, students out of the 'surgical theater' and into the actual theater.
The Pulse, Newsworks.org, April 30, 2015

All the World’s a Stage, Even the Med School Classroom, Jefferson News, May 10, 2015

Operating Theater: When doctors do drama “The Empathy Project” turns med students into playwrights.
Philly Voice, May 27, 2016

Feedback from previous Jefferson participants
“After the first few theater classes, I realized that I started perceiving patients differently during my hospital affiliate visits. I was thinking about them much like you would think about a character in a play.  It was an exciting thing to notice, and something that I hope will make me a good doctor.”

“It pushed me beyond my comfort zone so that I could learn new ways of observing and seeing through improv and acting exercises, scene writing, focused listening, and building a sense of community based on sharing ideas, experiences, and feelings.  We developed an emotional intimacy that would never have happened otherwise in the usual reserved professional medical environment. From hearing the stories and writings of fellow participants, I could feel my level of compassion growing, not only for others, but for myself as well. The theatre program was a very healing experience.”

“I can never forget how freeing it was to learn that everyone in our class felt as behind as I did (regardless of whether they were or not). It’s one thing to discuss with friends, who can be very much like you in habits and temperament; it’s another to hear classmates you don’t know as well say so.”

“I think the process of writing and acting helped me process a lot of the hurt and pain I see every day in the hospital. It also helped me feel good about the work I do and gave me permission to simply be me."

“In sitting down to think on my experience with this program, so many thoughts come to mind. Most recently, walking back into the hospital after a long stretch of classroom months, walking through the halls, smelling the way the floors smell and hearing the telemetry alarms buzz and ring, seeing again what it's like to be sick and to be a nurse or a doctor and be sick of one's job, I think I had the unique opportunity to almost experience it for the first time, again. It felt so foreign to me. It felt like a strange place. And of all the thoughts I had in contemplation, this was the most bright and pressing. I'm sure many moments helped me to feel this way, but I think participation in this theater program helped me to feel a little less like a medical student, and a little more like a human being again.  And that's a very good thing.”

Registration
The program is free and open to all Jefferson students, residents, faculty and staff. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, contact Megan Voeller, Director of Humanities, at megan.voeller@jefferson.edu

 

books

Graphic medicine has come to the Scott Library. Almost 100 graphic novels on medical themes have been donated for use of the Jefferson community. The collection is currently being processed, and the volumes will be shelved in the 1st floor reading area, with a 3-week circulation period. New titles are being added regularly, so check back often. View a complete list of the available titles.

These stories invite readers to understand and empathize with patients and their caregivers, encountering medical dilemmas with new eyes. The cartoon format with both words and pictures delivers a visceral impact as well as entertainment and information. Creators include doctors, patients, patient advocates and relatives, and others interested in depicting compelling health dramas.

Here are a few highlights, to pique interest:

The Bad Doctor, by Ian Williams (Myriad Editions, 2014) fiction
Iwan James is really quite a good doctor, but up against his own history of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) compounded by massive insecurity. Moreover, his wife doesn’t appreciate his passion for cycling, his douche-bag senior partner embraces the bottom line more than medicine, and other women he admires are not attracted to him. A serious yet puckish slice-of-life drama.

Cancer Vixen, by Marisa Acocella Marchetto.( Knopf, 2009) memoir
Living the fabulista life in New York, the 43-year-old Marchetto is about to be married for the first time when she finds a lump in her breast. “Listen, Cancer, ya sick bastard,” she exclaims, “now is not a good time!” Poignant and hilarious, Marchetto’s masterful use of graphics conveys her emotional turmoil throughout diagnosis, chemotherapy, and wedding.

I Am Not These Feet, by Kaisa Leka (Absolute Truth Press, 2008) memoir
With malformed and very painful arthritic feet, Leka elected to have them amputated at age 24. In surprisingly lighthearted drawings that show characters with ears or bird heads, she tells the story of her operation, learning to bind her stumps, and getting used to her springy new carbon fibre prosthetic feet. She has since taken long cycling trips with her husband.

The Long Road Home, by Gary Trudeau. (Andrews McMeel. 2005) fiction
B.D. started out as Michael Doonesbury’s roommate. Now a veteran re-enlisting after 9/11, he ships off to Iraq where a rocket grenade destroys his Humvee and takes off his leg. Slowly and painfully, he makes his way through triage, medical rescue, and the even slower and also painful physical and psychological rehabilitation stateside. Foreword by Senator John McCain.

Monsters, by Ken Dahl (Secret Acres, 2009) memoir
In self-flaying humor run amok, Dahl renders his genital herpes as fuzzy and gooey giant disease cells, creeping over everything and reshaping his reality into a walking disaster. As time goes on, his social life and psychological state go downhill until hitting a reality check from a more level-headed friend. Probably the most hilarious and graphic STD educational tract ever written.

My Degeneration: A Journey Through Parkinson’s (Penn State University Press, 2015) memoir
Anchorage Daily News staffer Dunlap-Shohl learns that Parkinson’s disease won’t kill him, but it doles out worsening symptoms in disabling dribs and drabs. Initially contemplating “suicide by bear” in the forest, he finally decides to remake himself through exercise, deep brain stimulation, a rainbow of medications, and support from family, friends, and the medical community.

Our thanks to Martha Cornog, a former librarian who is the graphic novel reviewer for Library Journal, for donating this fascinating collection of visual stories (along with the mini-reviews above) to Scott Library. Look for announcements of programming to complement these materials in the near future.