Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol. 1, No. 4, September 2015 Publish Date: Aug. 10, 2015 Pages: 445-449

Humanities Education in the Medical Professional Teaching Process

Yanli Xiao1, *, Lei Peng2

1Department of Graduate, Taishan Medical University, Taian Shandong, China

2College of Information Engineering, Taishan Medical University, Taian Shandong, China


The socialized medicine reflects the humanization of medicine and determines the humanities of medicine. Medical humanities mainly research the humanities of medicine. From the core of humane education, the approaches of humanities education in the medical professional teaching process are analyzed. Reverence for life is the foundation of forming good learning and teaching attitude. Professional knowledge is the basis and humanities knowledge is added. The humanities knowledge can active classroom atmosphere. Humanistic care is lubricant and bond of communications between teachers and students. Behavior modeling is a favorable support to humanistic education. Furthermore, the design principles of medical students' humanities quality training system should adhere to the principles of student-oriented principles, system principles, flexibility principles, individuality principles, and multiplication principles.


Medical Education, Medical Professional, Humanistic Education

1. Introduction

Medical professional education instills the professional ability of medical students occupation career education process. This process is a medical occupation career that provides the required basic knowledge, professional knowledge, basic clinical knowledge and skill instruction process, and is also a process of social history of the development of the medical science. Through the development of the history of medicine has stimulated students’ interest in learning and inspired students' thinking. At the same time, the teaching process of medical professional courses is also a good humanities education media that explores and make good use of medical courses contained in the humanities material. This is combined with the transformation of modern medical model and the reality of medical environment, due to lack of humanities knowledge, ideology socialization doctor-patient contradictions, and other social needs. Humanistic education of medical students and the cultivation of humanistic spirit, has become a basic skill of current medical educators.[1-3] In recent years, in Human Anatomy and Neurobiology teaching, the author made some attempts to incorporate humanistic education to improve teaching effect, to improve students' learning interest. We will experience the intravenous drip of this experience, simply summarized as follows.

2. Approaches of Humanities Education in the Medical Professional Teaching Process

2.1. Reverence for Life Is the Foundation of Forming Good Learning and Teaching Attitude

The preparation is one of the key links of teaching. In the Humanistic Education preparation is also the key links of teaching. In the teaching process of Medical Professional, deals with corpses and various experimental animals inevitably. During basic medical courses, many courses are taught in the understanding of the basic relationship between the position of the external form and internal organizational structure of the human body and the structure. We can deeply understand the physiological function and pathological changes of human organs and tissues. At the same time, through the different animal experiment, we can further understand with further observation, analysis and verification of animal of each system, structure, analysis of drugs in animal metabolism, distribution and the influence of different organs and tissues. Therefore, in the course of preparation and teaching process, it add to the humanitarian process to increase the number of humanitarian education and courses in animal body processes. There exists a need of body and animal course requirements before class, a moment of silence to the specimens, so to arouse students to medical career dedication remains respect, admiration and reverence for life. [4] In the experimental, the class usitilizesanimals, requiring students to apply gentle movements and an easy way of handling the animal to avoid rude, cruel treatment of experimental animal. As far as possible, efforts must focus on the reduction of animal suffering, to reduce the number of animal use, develop respect for life, and cherish life. Through this kind of education, students can form a prudent attitude facing life and advocating life, and fear-of-life occupation habits.

2.2. On the Basis of Professional Knowledge, Humanities Knowledge Is Added

Medical courses content belongs in the category of natural science; but also contains rich humanistic knowledge. The development and deepening of the medical professional knowledge, not only experienced stepwise refinement from the shallower to the deeper, natural scientific development process; but, also experiences the introduction of the social development, which contains a conflict class struggle, religious rich historical material, even with the history of the reign of terror. Much professional basic knowledge of what we now familiar with, was initially proposed by argumentation. Some scientists have experienced varied hardships, and even sacrificed their lives in this process.[5] In the teaching process, when I introduce consciously these full of blood and tears, which contains numerous scientists the injustice of the knowledge and experience of these knowledge formation process in the great historical events to the students consciously, the students all in the depths of the soul, have a strong impact.[6] At the same time, this additional professional knowledge of Humanities knowledge impressed the students mind. Several years later, when we meet again, the most impressive and we talked about is still the humanistic knowledge.

2.3. Humanistic Knowledge Is a Remedy for Active Classroom Atmosphere

Humanistic knowledge plays a special role in understanding the professional knowledge and improving the teaching effect. [7] In the process of teaching courses, some humanities knowledge is needed to help understanding the certain professional knowledge. After understanding, the knowledge can be remembered more profound. An example of this is the section of declarative and non-declarative memory in the course of Neural Biology. [8] If only from its definition and characteristics to explain, students cannot understand and remember it deeply. If teachers introduce a humanistic knowledge for understanding, it will receive good effect. The Red Chamber Dream is one of the four great classical novels in China which is loved and read by lots of people including students. When representing declarative memory, we can introduce two lines of a verse written when appreciating the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival that is "The crane flying cross the pool with the leaving shadow, and the cold moon is just playing a funeral to the soul of the flower.", and we can raise questions like "Where does these two lines come from?", "Whom was this verse recited by? And under which circumstance was this verse recited?" and "What a scene does these two lines describe?" to the students. Such interactions of Q&A will not only help students recall time, place, characters and events of the Mid-Autumn Festival in The Red Chamber Dream and feel as if they were visiting the Grandeur Garden, but also deepen their understandings on declarative memory, get classroom atmosphere active and motivate learning interest of the students. Besides, when teaching the lecture of "Consciousness", we can refer to some of the living instances in our daily life to deepen understandings of factors affecting consciousness and their effects during the process of consciousness forming. Given that two discs of the same size are surrounded by a set of larger discs and a set of smaller discs respectively, we may feel that these two discs are not of the same size because the surrounding discs are not of the same size. We may take it wrong that the disc surrounded by smaller discs is larger than the other disc, which is called Illusion. Thus students can understand concept of illusion and influences of the surroundings to percepts. This will inspire curiosity of the students, and let the students realize that under some circumstances, seeing is not all believing, thus critical cognitive ability of students will be trained.[9]

2.4. Humanistic Care Is Lubricant and Bond of Communications Between Teachers and Students

In the teaching world, the communication between teachers and students, student workers and student exchanges, includes not only professional knowledge learning "impart knowledge and solve doubts" exchanges, but also includes more communication of learning things outside of this context. Studying in the school, the students not only have to respond to the normal teaching activities arrangements, but also have to deal with many different problems. [10] These problems may come from different levels and aspects. In material terms, the students come from different regions and their families aae at different economic status levels. One of the important contents of students in life is to eat, and this requires money. It is inevitable that differences of family economic conditions may influence life and closely related extra-curricular activities of students. In the cognitive aspect, surroundings and educational environments of students from different areas before attending a school are different, and their cognitive competences to a same person or thing are of remarkable differences. When encountering the same problem, people suffering different influences will take different measures to deal with the problem. In the aspect of spiritual pursuit, people living through different surroundings have remarkably different spiritual pursuit, and their longings for spiritual pursuit may differ. Students with different life and study experience will have different learning goals and learning motivations and power as well. Therefore, in the first place, teachers shall treat students equally, respect personalities of students, communicate with students from a loving heart, be sincere to students, adhere to the attitude of "more love, less blame, more support and encouragement, and less criticism and suspicion", analyze problems and difficulties encountered by students in the students’ shoes, care for learning and living conditions of the students in the position of students’ parents, help and encourage students, and guide students how to live a better life as friends. Teachers shall communicate with students kindly so as to better understand their longings, problems and difficulties and doubts on their life path, thus helping, guiding and encouraging students specifically with the faith of "firming confidences in learning and life of students with supports, correcting harmful words and misbehaviors of students with guidance, and promoting students to a better future with praises".

2.5. Behavior Modeling Is a Favorable Support to Humanistic Education

Humanistic quality of medical students is mainly reflected in the medical activities of the future career.[11] Only by developing good behavioral habits at the same time of forming medically specialized knowledge and professional skills, can medical students be competent in humanistic care in the future medical work, and apply their medical knowledge and skills under the premise of caring for patients, attaching importance to illnesses and respecting personality of patients. However, behavioral habit of a person is not formed overnight. Therefore, we can make a certain amount of settings when preparing lessons to provide opportunities of exchange with others under certain circumstances for students, so as to inspect and train social communicative competence and ability to make immediate response of students; meanwhile, elegant and decent manners shall be showed when communicating and interacting with students during teaching and daily life, and normative words and civilized and elegant behaviors shall be fine examples of students. Teachers shall evaluate and analyze behavior cases in the daily life with students so let them clear with problems of "what behaviors are civilized and in line with medical practice, what behaviors are in favor of doctor-patient communication to improve medical effects, what behaviors conform to humanistic spirit, and how to obtain reliable medical information under the condition of experiencing humanistic care", so as to respect patients, get along with patients and enhance medical effects. In the meantime, we shall invite experienced experts with decent medical ethics to give lectures of humanistic practice so that humanistic spirit of students can be motivated by living examples during several decades of careers. Teachers can organize students to observe and learn from the consultation scene and let them personally experience effects of humanistic charm of experienced medical workers to the medical practice. Thus students will have a theoretical cognition of humanistic spirit and supports of behavior practice results, and this will help humanistic spirit touch hearts of students and turn into preliminary humanistic behavior.

3. Design Principles of Medical Students' Humanities Quality Training System

3.1. Student-Oriented Principle

Medical students is both a subject and object of humanistic education, so when designing humanistic education system, "student-oriented" shall be taken as the starting point and objective of humanistic education. Rights and personalities of students shall be valued fully, and group requirements and individual need of students shall be considered thoroughly, so as to realize educational objectives. When adopting theory of contradiction to analyze contradictory relation of teaching and learning, learning is the internal cause and basis for improving teaching quality, while teaching is the external cause which plays roles based on the internal cause of learning.[12] Student-oriented principle requires to totally change the teaching mode of traditional education of "students learn what teachers teach" to a new mode of "giving full play to principal role of students under guidance of teachers, and letting students better give play to their thoughts organizing group discussion, onstage speak, understanding exchange and independent study, highlighting cooperation and exploration, and teachers reasonably guiding students on basis of listening to discussions and speeches of students so that let them better give play to their thoughts, intelligence and potentials". Student-oriented principle requires teachers pay attention to personality and dignity of students, realize personalized development of students, focus on proving best platform and space for students developing, becoming useful persons and growing up, and create a sound atmosphere for students broadening humanistic knowledge, widening humanistic view, cultivating humanistic ability and shape humanistic character so as to improve humanistic quality of medical students.

3.2. System Principle

Medical humanities education is an educational system including complex educational factors, educational impact, educational approach and education power. To make these comprehensive educational factors play a role and form an overall impact on students, it must involve all kinds of complex educational factors. The overall system optimization must be carried out to achieve the best educational results. Anyeducation is a systemic engineering. Idea, classroom teaching, faculty, student management, logistics service and campus environment of medical education interact with each other, thus forming a complete human ecology system. Starting from basic humanities like literary, history and philosophy, imparting on humanistic knowledge and establishing a general humanistic knowledge system; then developing understandings on "human and self, human and others, man and society, and man and nature" ideologically, and establishing a complete humanistic thought system; then establishing a harmonious humanistic spirit system pursuing truth and seeking goodness based on the mental structure of cognition-emotion-sense; and building a humanistic environment system possessing humanistic virtues on basis of construction of campus culture.

3.3. Flexibility Principle

During the process of constructing humanistic quality training system of medical students, development needs of the time and situation shall be met that educational objectives shall be revised timely, education contents shall be updated in time, effective education methods, ways and means shall be selected, and learning process, learning style and learning contents shall be decided by the students on their own according to their respective characteristics. Flexibility of teaching contents and teaching methods shall be paid more attention that teaching contents not conforming to social development shall be eliminated, teaching contents reflecting features of the times and closely related to medical science and medical students shall be enriched constantly, and stimulating humanistic educational resources in the real life shall be emphasized. Flexibility is more reflected in the process of constructing humanistic training system of medical students, that personalized teaching methods are adopted to teach students in accordance with their aptitudes and to promote humanistic quality of students. However, individualized education shall also emphasize on selection and guidance of medical students so as to ensure scientificity of the training plan. Playing advantages of traditional culture and highlighting self-characteristics are the important factors for constructing humanistic education system of medical students as well. At the same time of learning from advanced experience of humanistic training of medical students in the western countries, we shall even more respect and make use of our extensive and profound traditional culture and rich medical culture accumulated through centuries-old traditional Chinese medicine history. The attitude of "integration of Chinese and Western, all-inclusive and distinctive" and giving full play of significant resources proved by practices of both Chinese and Western countries are also reflects of flexibility in constructing humanistic education system of medical students.

3.4. Individuality Principle

In the process of design medical humanities education system, the students’ personality characteristics should be reflected. To adapt to the medical learning rule, from the actual conditions to determine the humanities education system. From the individual to see, the personal quality of the education objects have hierarchies. The formation and development of any medical students' personal quality are not balanced. From the characteristics of the education target system and the needs of education object, the humanistic education system should be established with different levels. Every teacher should have their own teaching characteristic and teaching style. Every student should also have some right to choose.

3.5. Multiplication Principle

Medical students' humanities quality training system is an open system. In order to make the medical students to adapt to the trend of economic globalization and cultural diversity, it should reflect on the environment diversity in the curriculum, teaching content and teaching places. When building medical students' humanities quality training system, it must take full account of the spread of human knowledge in different ideas, different cultures, different regions, and different values background. It is limited only to rely on the medical colleges their own. We want to fully mobilize the tripartite platform of social resources, schools and families to build a culture of openness. The international competition ability of the students should be promoted from the national conditions. By cultivating the students’ humanistic view multiple to achieve the 21st century medical education prospects proposed competency requirements.

4. Conclusion

According to the announced of the implementation of international standards of medical education and medical education outlook report, there are many new requirements and changes in the medical humanities education. In recent years, with the change of national health reform policy, especially with the introduction of "medical education on collaborative deepening the reform of personnel training in clinical medicine", the government has launched a comprehensive standardized training of resident physicians. The standardized training includes medical ethics, clinical skills, professional knowledge, policies and regulations, interpersonal communication, etc. Medical human spirit, running through all steps of trainings especially medical ethics construction, is the essence of medical human spirit more importantly. In the this day and age, how to train standardized and normalized clinical medical talents with Chinese characteristics, how to construct a humanistic education system meeting to situation needs and demands of the era, and how to promote humanistic quality of medical students are problems demanding promote solutions. The humanities education in the medical professional teaching process proposed in this paper is a good method for improving medical students' ethics and medical humanities construction.


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