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Table 3 Student Experience—Core Curricular and Extracurricular Activities

From: The long-term impact of a comprehensive scholarly concentration program in biomedical ethics and medical humanities

The core coursework provided theoretical and practical exposure to BEMH  I remember sitting in on ethics committee meetings at the hospital, being able to see how the things that we were learning about bioethics were being applied in a real-world situation. (I-4)  The creative writing for medical students course...was a great way to force myself to really write…to focus more formally on creating a finished or semi-finished product that I could share with others and get feedback.... My writing got very, very, very strong…. Those skills in writing I feel like carry on into my clinical work quite a bit. (I-6)
The core coursework provided a valuable experience not otherwise available in the medical school curriculum  The coursework was very interesting…. It was both medical humanities and ethics. I liked that it supplemented our regular education because otherwise we…didn’t really get any in our curriculum. (I-14)  Communication skills through the BEMH concentration are crucial.... It’s the students who do not take any classes who could use it the most.... They struggle [in] the wards, they struggle with sort of complex communication, with having difficult conversations. (I-1)
The program’s flexibility allowed for exploration of individual interests through elective courses  BEMH was really flexible in letting me take the classes that I actually was interested in. (I-12)  Many of my colleagues combined other interests say in women’s health or palliative care.… [BEMH] can lend itself to any sort of medical specialty, so I think flexibility is one of the things that stood out about the program. (I-1)
The curriculum provided opportunities to engage in reflective and self-care practices  Once a week…we would do some free writing…we would listen to what people had to read and…reflect on our medical training experiences in a very non-threatening, supportive environment. (I-10)  A very meaningful part or topic that came up [in the SC]…was…work-life balance and risks of burning out or addiction as a physician…taking care of oneself at the same time as taking care of other people. That’s a very real issue for anyone going forward in medicine. (I-5)
The SC provided a safe and nurturing community for students  Things that were…more special about [the BEMH SC]: the community, the sense of home, and the space to…think…more creatively in these…arenas…everybody, all the faculty in BEMH felt like…both genuine people and committed people…so that felt like a safe place…where…those part of me could come out. (I-2)  You get plenty of your intellectual feeding in medical school…and plenty of discipline feeding…[but] you don’t get sometimes that soul nourishment that keeps the whole machine ticking. I had that [with the BEMH faculty and community]. (I-18)
  1. Illustrative quotes from participants on the perceived impact of the BEMH SC on their student experience, related to core curricular and extracurricular activities