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"SINCE THE FIRST FEW COURSES began in the early 1990s, a growing number—now more than seventy—of American medical schools have developed programs to teach students that patients are more than the sum of their vital signs. In 1999, the AAMC [American Association of Medical Colleges] added cultural and spiritual competencies to its curriculum guidelines, thereby identifying those as skills that all medical school graduates should possess. By considering factors beyond the physical, educators say they are training doctors who deliver compassionate care to the whole patient.

"'In the long run, this push to reform medical education also may revolutionize health care,' says Christina Puchalski, assistant professor in the division of aging studies at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and founder and director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish)."

NORTHERN LIGHT on a home of their own
April 8, 2002

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