The ‘Clinical Humanities & Wellbeing programme’- sustainable healthcare education for an era of uncertainty

Flora Smyth Zahra *, Jayne Pearson, Kim Piper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a case study where integration of arts and humanities into a clinical programme is being implemented at scale, as core mandatory learning for all students within a UK dental, undergraduate context. The cross-disciplinary programme described, that integrates the Humanities with Clinical Sciences, is a longitudinal professional identity formation curriculum for sustainable oral healthcare which aligns with the UK dental regulator’s proposals for a ‘safe practitioner’ framework for new graduates. The Clinical Humanities & Wellbeing modules embrace the emotional and attitudinal aspects of learning and educate clinical students for the practical wisdom (phronesis) required to deliver 21st century oral healthcare in an era of uncertainty. The overarching aim of the curriculum and its accompanying assessment is to promote critical reflection, student insight and development of integrity, reflexivity, and responsibility. Enabling the subjectification of professional identity formation in this cross-disciplinary way aims to develop students as ‘safe practitioners’, with increased professional autonomy, responsible for their own actions, and who are better equipped for the uncertainties and phronesis of clinical practice. At present, the programme is being evaluated, employing illuminative evaluation methodology and we present some tentative initial findings. The authors believe that this unique approach and signature pedagogy is, with careful curation, transferrable to other health professions’ contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2023


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