Incorporating theology into Canadian med school curricula

December 3, 2012

The concept of mandatory training of physicians in the provision of "spiritual health care" seems to be making some in-roads in Canada. While none of country's medical schools has yet made a course in spiritual health care a prerequisite toward earning an MD, several are integrating some aspects of spiritual health care into courses. There has been considerable, if informal, progress with respect to spiritual pedagogy in Canadian medical schools over the past decade, says a Northern Ontario School of Medicine official, who notes there are constant pressures on curricula. "The real challenge in Canadian medical education [is] that pretty much every issue, disease or concept on the planet could benefit from the same sort of endeavor, so the question becomes how many of these types of requests can one address?" she says. "With limited resources and limited time which ones do we focus on?...We can't fit everything in the curriculum." CMAJ