INCLUDE LITERATURE IN THE MEDICAL CURRICULUM–DR Okediran.
A medical Practitioner ,. DR Wale Okediran has charged the policy makers in the field of medical sciences to include Literature in the medical curriculum for the students to acquired a full knowledge in the liberal arts subjects in order for them to excel in their natural talent. Okediran, who is a prolific writers, politician and Medical Practitioner, disclosed this at the 9th Distinguished lecture in the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo City, Ondo State , Nigeria where he spoke on the theme titled: Connecting Medicine And Literature: Reflections For University System and Health Professions Education in Nigeria, said that Literature and Medicine may sound like a strange bedfellows but they both have an attributes of the god Apollo, who was the patron of Music , poetry, arts and healing. In his words ” Even though Literature and Medicine may sound like strange bedfellows. Greek mythology has it that both disciplines shared the god Apollo who was known as the patron of Music, poetry ,arts and healing.”
In another development, the invited Guest lecturer said creative outlet helps to.reduce stress, anxiety, boredone and the perception of pain . According to him, it’s also believed that with literature and other arts , doctors can develop deeper psychological insights and sensitivities, allowing them to listen to their patients better. He believed that story telling is the basic unit of the medical epistemology. His words ” It is also believed that story telling is the basic unit of Medical epistemology. Interpretation in clinical settings takes place when the physician listens to the patient’s story of illness ,filters it through knowledge of similar cases and returns the now- interpreted story to the patient to check its validity . He said that much of clinical practice is about telling stories.
Meanwhile, the Guest lecturer disclosed that case presentations, grand rounds and seminars are ways in which doctors tell ” tales ” to each other. He said it is a relatively short step from clinical story telling to reflecting and creative writing by the doctor. He went further” that this task encourages the setting down of personal views and events into fiction . Apart from helping people to build knowledge about the world around them , book can also be therapeutic . According to a 2009 study at the University of Sussex , reading was found to have reduced stress by up to 68% through the relaxation of muscles and the lowering of the heart rate”
Okediran, believed that when physicians become writers whatever their subject , they are in a sense only transferring their story telling from one arena to another , reaffirming that , whether it originates in the clinic or at the writer’s desk, the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives.
However, the Guest lecturer, concluded by telling us the benefit of combining arts in medicine could bridge the huge gap between public health professionals and Creative artists. Also the use of arts for mental health for patients in Psychiatric Hospital and the reduction of stress , lonellines , anxiety and perception of pain among others.
The event which was well attended have in attendance His Excellency Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo AKEREDOLU-SAN (CON), ably represented by the Commissioner for Health, DR Banji Awolowo Ajaka, Mrs Ilawole- SA to the Governor on Education, Chief Seinde Arogbofa, Chief Adetola Wewe, Dr Ihenacho Metuonu, Professor Rose Angela Mwuba , The chief host Vice -Chancellor , Professor Adesegun Fatusi , Association of Nigerian Authors-ANA, members , His . Royal Highness, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom and host of others.
Highlight of the events include, spoken word and Poetry, Rendition by the UNIMED Choir, Ewi performance and exhibition of the arts work by the students.