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Traditional medical education focuses on the science of medicine through lectures and clinical rotations. Yet, the art of medicine—learning compassion and empathy—and certain aspects of professional development may be best taught in other forms. Indeed, participation in The Maine Humanities Council Literature & Medicine Program led to 82% of participants self-reporting increased levels of empathy for patients. Further, incorporation of book clubs into the Pharmacy education at Purdue University led to students exploring new topics, reconsidering previously held perceptions, and better understanding of patient perspectives. In line with this, the New Mexico American College of Physicians (NMACP) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has begun to offer its membership learning through book clubs. To adapt to the new online learning environment, the book club was offered via Zoom and all members of the NMACP were invited to participate. This was accomplished by inviting retired professionals, physicians, and trainees (students, residents, and fellows) to participate via the NMACP ListServ. Given the recent racial injustices highlighted across America, the inaugural book was How To Be An Anti-Racist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. Discussing this book with a diverse membership allowed for a productive conversation in a safe environment. We were able to examine how to incorporate our new knowledge into our medical practice, discuss action items that will utilize our privilege to facilitate change, and begin to lead from where we stand. The inaugural book club was so successful that the NMACP are facilitating the reading of How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith in the coming months. Additionally, an IRB protocol was submitted to better evaluate the success and value of the book club to the NMACP membership. Together, we find this new educational offering to be a unique way to facilitate learning and professional development for trainees and physicians alike.


This presentation was presented during the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Education Days.



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