The role of medical humanities in improving understanding of both disease and wellness was explored at a two-day conference recently hosted by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).

The Medical Humanities in the Middle East Program brought senior academics in the fields of medicine and the humanities from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America, to discuss the impact on perceptions of health and disease of a broad spectrum of humanities subjects, including literature, history, politics, religion, art and art therapy, and medical ethics, among others.

Dr Alan Weber, Professor of English at WCM-Q, and a member of the organising committee, said the medical humanities have emerged as important and useful for helping medical practitioners, academics and students reconcile the pressing sociological, economic, philosophical and ethical issues that arise in the practice of medicine.

This conference brought together experts from all over the world to discuss these issues, with the ultimate goal of discovering how far and in what ways humanistic approaches to medicine and the teaching of medicine can improve patient outcomes.’

The event featured presentations of abstracts of 24 research projects on topics such as the use of art therapy in medical settings for dealing with grief, the role of storytelling in trauma therapy, the impact of fluorescent lighting on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and the challenges of integrating the humanities into medical curricula.

The conference also saw research posters by Dr Linda Miller of Imperial College London and Dr Tsai Pi-hua of Mackay Medical College in Taiwan.

For more information about WCM-Q, visit their website at