It is possible to study medicine and its subjects with literature

Celia Garcia, a psychiatrist and full-time professor of the history of science at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Malaga, has always had a passion for reading. It was precisely his desire for books that prompted him to unite his two passions in 2021 to found Reading club for medical studentswith the aim of reclaiming space, after the pandemic, for open discussions and gathering, in turn, More humanistic teachings from books to medical degree.

“The club grew out of a need we had for teachers and students Create a space for sharing and open discussionsEnjoy your time in college, where we don't just live the academic life. “It was created informally,” Celia explains to this newspaper. In addition, indicate that One of its pillars is the ability to “humanize” medicine By reading something that, in her opinion, needs a healthy degree. “The way medical schools are structured and the degree itself is starting to become… Information for students about MIR from the first year of their studiesWith the constant system of multiple choice exams, which leads to their impoverishment, We remove the possibility of writing and communicating with texts“, identify.

These missing skills can be solved with a reading club to alleviate this.”The gap in new forms of evaluation. “Not only are students and teachers increasingly leaning towards objective assessment, but we are also impoverishing the explanation and thinking part… I think so Reading club makes us more reflective“, points out. Moreover, the students who arrive are generally students who love reading, have a reading habit, or who have abandoned it and want to resume it.

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The club also helps It improves the professional future of these doctors and brings closer the relationship between doctor and patient: “Reading opens you up to different worlds and this connection to different stories and realities. For example, we recently read a book by Brenda Navarro about the problem of kidnapping women in Mexico. They are facts that lead you to think about what we would do If a patient comes to our office and tells us that a loved one has been kidnapped. We are Elements that add to the training of medical professionals In the end, this is what distinguishes a good professional from a bad professional.”


“In literature books you learn more about medicine than in textbooks, and you can always get reading related to health, whether mental or physical.”



More medical books in literature

Through the Reading Club, Celia realizes that it is possible to have this “more fun” space and they usually hold these meetings on the terraces which the faculty have made it possible to meet outdoors, with a huddle structure where no one is making decisions alone:”We all vote together on the books We organize the calendar for the rest of the course. Having this connection to literature, beyond academic books, is authentic Access to learn many things about medicine. I always say that you learn more about medicine in literature books than in textbooks. We learn how to relate to books in another way“To reflect and learn about other ways of thinking and we can enrich ourselves with different points of view.”

Generally, at the beginning of the course, around 10 or 12 students start in the reading club, but Celia comments that the “ground that resists” ends up being six or eight students, generally from a medical degree, although sometimes Teachers also joined to be part of this club And participate in readings.

How does he spend the day at the Medical Reading Club? The first step was to organize a WhatsApp group, Celia says, where they would put all the information about the books they had read and their dates. “We usually meet every month and a half with our book of choice, and meet one afternoon outside academic hours to share a snack. The idea is to provide a friendly space where we can relax and talk about many things.. We talked for a few hours about the book and the author, but there were also moments when we talked about other discussions that arise.”



What books do medical students read?

The books read in this club at the University of Malaga vary greatly. At first, Celia points out that it is general literature, but it is open to all kinds of genres. It's read by medical students Crime fiction, classics, science fiction, feminist issues…Celia realizes that “if I stop thinking,” In all the books you can get health related readingWhether mental or physical.

“When we read some classic Russian writers, like Dostoevsky or Tolstoy, we see that they were like that Due to the psychological profiles of their characters being designed very well. On a psychopathological level, for some studies or psychiatric conditions, it is very interesting. We also read a novel called “So little life” that takes a look at the degenerative disease suffered by the protagonist, from which we learn a lot. First of all, we are not looking for books related to medicine“But they lead us to these discussions.”

Although it may contain statements, statements or observations from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in medical writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend that the reader consult any health-related questions with a healthcare professional.

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