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Religion and Spirituality in Medical Education 

Religion and Spirituality in Medical Education
Religion and Spirituality in Medical Education

Marta Herschkopf

, Najmeh Jafari

, and Christina Puchalski

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date: 25 July 2021

According to recent surveys, 75 to 90% of US medical schools have now incorporated spirituality and health into their curricula, but the details of these interventions have been underexplored. This chapter describes the current state of religion and spirituality in medical education, reviewing evidence in the literature to support specific educational practices, with an emphasis on undergraduate medical education in North America. A brief historical background focuses on the development of specific learning objectives and competencies for spirituality in medical education, which are used to ground discussion of published material describing specific educational programs. These include guidelines/consensus statements, case reports of specific curricular structure and content, performance assessments, and novel pedagogical and evaluative techniques. The chapter also discusses the role of extra-curricular interventions, including ceremonies and rituals, and religiously-affiliated educational programs. It concludes with a discussion of graduate/continuing medical education, and future directions.

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