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Difficult Conversations: Evaluating the Medical Humanities 

Difficult Conversations: Evaluating the Medical Humanities
Difficult Conversations: Evaluating the Medical Humanities

Martina Kelly

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date: 01 March 2021

Evaluation of the medical humanities/health humanities is contentious. Medicine, steeped in a world of accountability, seeks evidence of effectiveness or impact, where evidence is confined to the measurable. Medical humanities, an eclectic interdisciplinary field, values the experiential, more suited to descriptive, qualitative forms of investigation. Rather than prize one approach over the other, clinician educators need to be methodologically flexible. The decision about which approach to use is best determined by the question(s) they wish to answer. This chapter briefly reviews some of the tensions medical educators face when deciding how to evaluate their teaching. It outlines a number of approaches to evaluation and gives examples from the medical humanities literature. Finally, it provides some resources to direct further inquiry.

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