Undergraduate Medical Education

Program Director: Suzanne Roberts, MD
Contact: SGRoberts@smhc.org
Teaching Format: Team-based coaching
Learner Type: Pre-Clerkship Medical Students

The Healer’s Art is an interactive selective offered to first year Maine track students during the month of May. The goal is to help students prepare for the emotional and meaning-based /spiritual aspects of being a physician by appreciating/renewing their core selves while learning others’ ways of working with medicine’s complex and powerful external and internal events. The highly interactive small groups provide a unique experience for students to spend time in a small group with a faculty member and a senior resident on a level playing field to consider our common experiences with stresses, life changes and ways to cope/grow while working within the world of medicine.  The faculty and resident provide a deeper range of experience in these interactions yet we strive to have the students provide most of the dialogue.

This course typically has small groups of approximately 5- 6 students, each with a faculty member and MMC resident as co-facilitators.  The weekly core topics are:

  • Discovering and Nurturing Your Wholeness
  • Sharing Grief and Honoring Loss
  • Beyond Analysis; Allowing Awe in Medicine
  • The Care of the Soul, Service as a Way of Life

The four evenings (6pm-9pm) are structured generally along these lines:

  • Large Group “Seed Talk” by a faculty member on the evening’s topic, then a large group dialogue on this and related themes, then individual work on a related self-reflection.
  • Small Group meetings then follow to delve deeper into the topic (or whatever else emerges of importance for the students.) These small groups are allotted more than half the time for each evening.


  • Small Group Facilitation