Healing and Education through the Arts and Life Skills (HEALS), Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University was the first medical school in Canada to create a Medical Humanities Program, now called the Medical Humanities-HEALS Program focusing on Healing and Education through the Arts and Life-Skills. HEALS includes a broad range of arts-based activities, including visual arts, narrative, history of medicine, and performing arts, particularly music. Medical students participate with community partners in a choir as well as in a Celtic group; local artists work in an Artists-in-Residence program; Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and Symphony Nova Scotia are involved in initiatives with the medical school. Two recently developed advisory boards have representatives from the artistic community, undergraduate medical students, clinicians within health centres, patients, fundraisers, arts-based educators, and medical education faculty members.