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Promoting Medical Humanities – student achievements rewarded

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(from left to right) Andrea Praschinger, Elisabeth Jäger, Lena Roth, Matthias Schwarz, Renate Bertlmann, Eva Katharina Masel; Foto: Florian Simon Linke

(Vienna, 18 December 2019) As part of a course at MedUni Vienna, the students addressed aspects of Medical Humanities. They wrote reflective essays on "Medical Comics" or drew their own comic strips on the theme of challenging communications in the field of medicine. Prizes were awarded for the best works.

As part of the Interdisciplinary Case Conferences course, an afternoon of the 5th-year required course was dedicated to examining aspects of Medical Humanities. This included a session on challenging communications in everyday clinical practice, designed by Eva Katharina Masel (Internal Medicine I, Palliative Care) and Andrea Praschinger (Teaching Center, Curriculum Management).
The students were involved in lesson planning. Their task for the week was either to write a reflective essay about a specified medical comic via a Learning Platform or to submit a comic strip they had drawn themselves.
The best entries were awarded prizes at the class on 16 December 2019. Visual artist Renate Bertlmann (Österreich Pavillon Biennale 2019) was invited to be part of the jury selecting the winning drawings. The jury was impressed by the contributions (190 drawings, 527 reflective pieces), which thematised difficult areas and allowed the students to demonstrate their sensitivity for challenging situations in their future professional environment.

Three places were awarded for original drawings for comics in the category "Breaking Bad News" and "excessively demanding communications":
1.    Katharina Egger, 2. Matthias Schwarz, 3. Lena Roth

Prizes for reflections on the set comics went to:
1.    Elisabeth Jäger, 2. Philipp Steurer, 3. Jonas Bumann


The prizes, in the form of medical comic books, were provided by the Teaching Center.

"Medical Comics" exhibition in the Lecture Center
The "Medical Comics" exhibition will be on display in the Medical University of Vienna's Lecture Center in Vienna General Hospital (Level 8) until the end of January 2020. Under the heading of "Impression – Expression – Interaction, Perception in Medicine", the facets of medicine are broken down according to three perspectives: "Help! Helping with comics", "Sick! Being ill in comics" and interactive stations, so that visitors can join in the action and interaction. Admission is free.