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How Film In Medical School Makes Better Doctors

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Watching films together can help students become aware of their own biases.

Using the arts and humanities in medical school isn't new. Exposure to literature, music, and visual arts during their training can help medical students become better clinicians. 

Film is another medium that can have a profound effect on students. Watching films together, especially about difficult topics like the end of life, can help students become aware of their own biases. 

Maren Monsen and Tess Jones both use film in their work. Monsen is a filmmaker and a physician at Stanford University. Jones is the director of the arts and humanities program at the University of Colorado.

They were in town earlier this year to give a talk at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and they also joined Lake Effect's Bonnie North then:

Jones explains why film in medical school is so effective: "I think it also gives students an opportunity to see how cultural representations — film, literature, the visual arts — actually do impact the way we think about doctors and patients."

She continues, "In some respects, sometimes that can even influence policy."

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.