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Clinical Humanities: Learning to look from different perspectives

Dr. Flora Smyth Zahra , Deputy Lead for Integrated Clinical Care Palace Team and Clinical Humanities program lead at King’s College in London.


  • During spring term 2016 the the Dental Institute at King’s developed and ran a new pilot module, Clinical Humanities for Dental Undergraduates to support the undergraduate Bachelor of Dentistry Science clinical teaching.
  • In the belief that much more can be done within dental education to develop  crucial elements of practice, a pilot programme was delivered at the King’s Dental Institute that used the Arts and Humanities-based approach now accepted in many medical schools as part of a more humanistic and rounded education.
  • The aim of the pilot was to provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the range of haptic and visual skills, as well as the complex layers of interpreting, judging and communicating, that constitute the development of professional mastery.

Additional Resource

Zahra FS, Dunton K. Learning to look from different perspectives – what can dental undergraduates learn from an arts and humanities-based teaching approach? Br Dent J. 2017; 222(3):147-50. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.109.

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One comment

  1. As a dentist involved with humanities education in a medical school, I agree with the authors’ conclusion that “the integration of the humanities, art, craft and science in dental education can only further student learning; developing their professional mastery and artistry and ultimately improving patient care.”

    How wonderful that humanities education is being incorporated into the curriculum at this (and other?) dental school(s)!

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