Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine

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Liz Claiborne Center for Humanism in Medicine (LCCHM)

The Division's Liz Claiborne Center for Humanism in Medicine (LCCHM) at New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) and Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) offers its health care professionals and trainees educational programming aimed at enhancing and integrating the principles of palliative care and medical humanism into patient care. Complementing the emphasis on cutting-edge, high-tech and evidence-based medicine, a focus on humanism in medicine reminds us of the importance of patient-and family-centered care, and effective open communication. It helps us develop the tools to nurture the art of creating caring, respectful, compassionate relationships between patients and ourselves, to connect with our patients as people, and to make meaningful differences in the individual lives of our patients and ourselves.

As we strive to identify the best vehicle for teaching humanism in medicine, we encourage creative engagement among health care professionals and we look to the LCHMM as a home for creativity in medicine. The LCCHM aims to promote medical humanism in its educational planning through developing programs for health professionals that:

  • Focus on understanding the stories of our patients
  • Increase mindfulness of:
    • The patient's illness experience  
    • The importance of respect for the patient's perspectives, values, and concerns and their participation in shared decision-making
  • Utilize the humanities as a vehicle for:
    • Enhanced consciousness and understanding of the human experience
    • Self-reflection as a means of professional growth and self-palliation

LCCHM educational initiatives include:

  • Monthly Interdisciplinary Narrative Medicine Group

This educational forum enhances the medical professionals' listening and understanding of patients' stories, to encourage medical professionals to synthesize their reactions to these stories, and to provide an opportunity for health professionals to personally reflect on their caregiving experiences.

Below Dr. Susan Ball, Associate Attending Physician and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Center for Special Studies (HIV/AIDS) at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College is interviewed by Dr. Ron Adelman, Executive Director of the Liz Claiborne Center for Humanism in Medicine and Co-Chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, about the importance of narrative medicine in medical training.  Dr. Ball, who has a master’s degree in Narrative Medicine, discusses her experience facilitating an interdisciplinary group of healthcare professionals including analysis of literary pieces as well as responsive writing by participants.

  • Monthly Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Case Conference

As a way of extending the interdisciplinary and holistic principles and practice of palliative care throughout NYPH/WCMC, teams of health care professionals from diverse disciplines/departments are invited to select and present challenging case(s) for discussions with the NYPH Palliative Care team. During these conferences, the goal is to provide a supportive venue for professionals of all disciplines to reflect on their concerns about caring for patients with an eye towards brainstorming solution-oriented ideas to enhance caregiver-patient interactions and patient well-being.

  • Ongoing Medical Humanities Lectures, Workshops and Discussions

For these programs focused on fostering ethical and humanistic patient care and building strong interpersonal and communications skills, a variety of speakers are invited to address issues in health and patient care as seen through the lens of the humanities, such as literature, history, philosophy, ethics, anthropology, religious and cultural studies, visual arts and performance arts (i.e., music, theatre, dance).  

LCCHM recognizes additional creative programming in the NYPH/WCMC community:

PDF icon Bridging Aging and Artists' Minds: An Intergenerational Learning Group

Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medicine New York, NY