Using literature to promote reflection in medical school


  • Catherine Courteau Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
  • Laurence Laneuville Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec



reflection, medical school, reading module



In the last half century, literature has been increasingly recognized as beneficial to medical trainees in terms of teaching empathy, cultural competence, listening and interpretation skills, and reflecting on moral issues (Jones, A. H., 2013). Following the success of a McGill medical students reading club, a reading module was tentatively added to the McGill Physician Apprenticeship (PA) Course curriculum in 2016. This was based on the idea that literature could be used a springboard towards discussion and reflection upon issues related to health, illness and medical care.



PA groups are composed of six medical students, two senior students and a physician mentor, whose regular meetings throughout medical school are structured around suggested modules. As part of the reading module, all PA groups were encouraged to choose a novel, essay, short story or poem by the end of their academic first year. A discussion on the reading was to be held in early second year, with specific questions to be addressed in order to reflect on course objectives (e.g., patient-centered clinical approach, reflective practice, healer role). The students anonymously completed pre and post-module questionnaires to assess the module's learning and reflective value. Students’ opinions on the pertinence of renewing this pilot project in the future were also accumulated.



The first student cohort has completed the pre-questionnaires in spring 2017 and will be completing the post-module questionnaires in fall 2017.

Therefore, at the moment of the abstract submission, we do not have preliminary results.





How to Cite

Courteau, C., & Laneuville, L. (2018). Using literature to promote reflection in medical school. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 5(1).