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J Int Med Res. 2018 Aug 8:300060518790415. doi: 10.1177/0300060518790415. [Epub ahead of print]

Insights into medical humanities education in China and the West.

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1 Department of Orthopedics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai, China.
2 Center for Reproductive Medicine, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
3 Shanghai Key Laboratory for Assisted Reproduction and Reproductive Genetics, Shanghai, China.
4 Engineering Research Center of Cell & Therapeutic Antibody, Ministry of Education, and School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.


Medical humanity is the soul of health education. Beginning medical students are taught various aspects of basic medicine, such as biochemistry, anatomy, and immunology. However, cultivation of the humanistic aspects of medicine has received increasing attention in recent decades. We performed a comparison study based on a literature search and our experience with medical humanistic courses in Western and Chinese medical colleges. We found both similarities and disparities in humanities courses offered in Western medical colleges and Chinese medical colleges. The delivery of humanities courses, such as medical sociology, medical ethics, medical psychology, and medical history, is widespread and helps to prepare students for their transformation from medical students to skilful medical professionals. Both Western and Chinese medical colleges offer a variety of medical humanistic courses for undergraduate students. Although Chinese medical humanistic education has undergone major changes, it still requires improvement and educators can learn from Western practice. We hope that our analysis will contribute to education reforms in the medical field.


China; Medical education; comparative study; ethics; humanistic cultivation; humanities courses; undergraduate students


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