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Medical humanities and Diwali celebration by cancer patients: A chit-chat with a practitioner
In a Delhi-based hospital, a paramedical professional, who is both a medical physicist and humanist, is celebrating the Diwali festival with a big art piece being completed jointly by cancer patients and the staff of the cancer unit.

According to the practitioner Deepak Arora, who along with being a medical physicist has excelled in sketch-noting in the doodle-art style, there is need to humanize medical practice and for which lessons can be drawn from the work done in the area of 'medical humanities'.

I asked about the emergent concept of 'medical humanities' on the telephone after seeing his post on the facebook. One can imagine that the inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary studies have become new emergent knowledge areas in the present era.


"Medical humanities is an interdisciplinary field of medicine which includes the humanities such as literature; social sciences such as cultural studies, social psychology; and arts such as theatre, 
film, and visual depiction along with their application in medicine and interventions with patients," he said.

He added that western countries some medical humanists work in both public and private services by offering interventions mutually worked out by the humanists and medical practitioners through 
individual sessions, group work, open groups, workshops, presentations and training to benefit themselves and the patients.

He thought of this intervention to combine both cultural and art aspects in celebration of Diwali since most cancer patients do not like strong smells, bright lights and noise. He is of the view that in 
India, there is need of mutual shaping of medicine and society to keep the sensitivities and sensibilities intact.

He also told that the Oxford, University in the UK offers courses in Medical Humanities which has a long track of humanistic study of medicine and the social determinants of health.

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