Panels / Panels

Panel summaries are listed below. / Les résumés des panels sont présentés ci-dessous.



Perils and Promises: Arts, Health, and Public Participation

Andrea Charise, Assistant Professor of Health Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough
Alison Humphrey, PhD candidate, Cinema and Media Studies, York University
Natalie S. Loveless, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory, University of Alberta

Friday April 15 / Vendredi 15 avril

Fairmount Queen Elizabeth / Convention Floor/ Hochelaga 5

As the work of Rita Charon, Arthur Frank, Sayantani Dasgupta, and others has shown, vast disparities often exist between the clinical objectives of Western medicine and the lived experiences of patienthood. Honouring the complex experience of illness—the founding principle of narrative medicine and humanistic approaches to health more generally—therefore offers a meaningful, texturizing corrective to conventional health education and practices by thoughtfully engaging the arts. Who could argue with such aspirations and, as the evidence has begun to show, the inspiring results of such fruitful intersections of arts and health? With full recognition of the advantages promised by arts-health work, this panel aims to provoke discussion of not only the promises intrinsic to health humanities, but also the pitfalls associated with key tenets of this emergent discipline. Motivated by very real-world examples and case studies, each panel presenter examines how engagements with health through the arts involve—and demand that health humanities practitioners respond to—unintended but troubling consequences associated with the social dimension of health and its representation in the arts.


In “The Trouble With Stories: Expertise and the Ethics of Narrating Illness,” Andrea Charise (Assistant Professor of Health Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada) turns to a popular art form, the graphic novel, to examine how health humanities practitioners ought to respond to personal stories that involve health-seeking behaviours that contravene public health objectives—as in stories of vaccine injury and immunization refusal. In “Participatory Culture, Political Chorus: Empowering Youth Civic Engagement and Public Health Problem-Solving by Reinventing Ancient Greek Dramatic Art for the Internet Age,” Alison Humphrey (PhD candidate, Cinema and Media Studies, York University, Canada) responds to Charise’s recommendations with a description of her own arts-based research-creation dissertation project Shadowpox: a co-created theatrical production taking place in the three years leading up to the centenary of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which solicits young adults’ imaginative civic engagement with the subject of vaccination. In light of Humphrey’s innovative art project—which aims to demonstrate the not only the compatibility of dramatic principles with the aims of public health, but also the profound value-added of this humanistic civic re-education concerning vaccine scepticism—Natalie S. Loveless (Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory, University of Alberta, Canada) asks in “Measuring Incompatibilities: Impact Metrics Across Disciplinary Divides”: if artistic practice now constitutes the production of new knowledge, then what metrics should be used for measuring such projects? With reference to her own involvement as a contributor to The Vaccines Project, Loveless concludes by discussing the metrics by which artistic practices might be assessed with particular attention to radically interdisciplinary collaborations in the field of art and medicine.

Key words: public health, humanities, evidence



Promoting Critical Consciousness in Medical Education: a key mechanism for social accountability


Arno Kumagai, University of Toronto
Ayelet Kuper, University of Toronto
Lisa Richardson, University of Toronto
Cynthia Whitehead, University of Toronto

Friday April 15 / Vendredi 15 avril

Fairmount Queen Elizabeth / Convention Floor/ Hochelaga 6

Medical educators increasingly look for ways to embed social accountability into the fabric of our medical schools.  The concept of critical consciousness, drawn from a number of social sciences and humanities theories, provides a compelling entry point for research, leadership and teaching in this area. Using the work of Paulo Friere, Kumagai and Lypson explain that “critical consciousness posits that the thinking subject does not exist in isolation but, rather, in relationship to others in the world. The development of critical consciousness involves a reflective awareness of the differences in power and privilege and the inequities that are embedded in social relationships […] and the fostering of a reorientation of perspective towards a commitment to social justice.”[i]

Drawing on our extensive and diverse real world experience, as well as our theoretical scholarly work, we will present ways in which we have used the concept of critical consciousness in our research, leadership and teaching practices. This includes research informed by notions of power and privilege, equity-oriented servant leadership, and curriculum and pedagogy that promote reflexivity and justice.

In addition to presentations, this panel will also include an interactive large group discussion that will draw upon the expertise of the audience. Collectively we will propose and develop ways to bring the notion of critical consciousness to our various institutional contexts.

Key words:  Critical consciousness, social accountability, equity

[i] Kumagai AK, Lypson ML. Beyond cultural competence: critical consciousness, social justice, and multicultural education. AcadMed2009;84(6):782-7.



La spiritualité au cœur du soin : l’incompétence comme terreau fertile de croissance relationnelle


Marie-Noëlle Bélanger-Lévesque, doctorante, Centre d’études en religieux contemporain de l’Université de Sherbrooke, Université de Sherbrooke
Marc Dumas
, PhD, théologien, Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé, Université de Sherbrooke

Sylvie Lafrenaye, MD PhD, pédiatre, Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé,
Jean-Charles Pasquier, MD PhD, obstétricien, Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé, Université de Sherbrooke

Saturday April 16 / Samedi 16 avril

Fairmount Queen Elizabeth / Convention Floor/ Matapédia

Bien qu’historiquement inscrite dans le soin, l’intégration actuelle de la spiritualité émerge d’une critique faite envers un paradigme déshumanisant dans sa prise en charge des patients. Cette intégration demeure néanmoins incomplète pour diverses raisons offertes (insuffisance de ressources humaines et financières, peur du prosélytisme, etc.). Il sera ici argumenté qu’un frein majeur est la non-reconnaissance de l’expérience de l’autre humain écrasé par le système de soin : le soignant.

Selon Waaijman (2002, 2008), deux approches à la question de spiritualité et soin existent actuellement dans la littérature et la pratique : 1) la spiritualité comme dimension spécifique dans le soin; et 2) la spiritualité au cœur même du soin. Alors que la première approche se centre sur la spiritualité comme une habilité (compétence, technique) active à développer et maîtriser, la seconde, mise de l’avant par l’auteur, inclut aussi une dimension passive, soit l’incompétence face à ce qui nous dépasse. Cette incompétence serait pourtant cruciale à la dynamique soignant-soigné, car lorsqu’elle est négligée, l’on perd l’élément fondamental au soin, soit la compassion (mercy).

Ce panel de discussion ouvrira sur un survol du rapport spiritualité-soin pour mettre de l’avant le défi dans son intégration actuelle : la reconnaissance de la spiritualité au cœur de la relation de soin et de l’importance de l’incompétence. Des extraits narratifs de recherches réalisées auprès des soignées mais aussi auprès de soignants en formation permettront d’illustrer comment l’incompétence permet de « créer de l’espace » dans la dynamique relationnelle au cœur du soin.

Mots clés : spiritualité, soin, (in)compétence

Références :
Waaijman, Kees. « Spirituality in Care in the Interaction between Care Seeker and Caregiver. » In Spirituality and Meaning in Health Care: a Dutch Contribution to an Ongoing Discussion, edited by J. Bouwer. Leuven: Kees, 2008. Spirituality. Forms, Foundations, Methods. Edited by Titus Brandsma Instituut, Studies in Spirituality. Supplement ; 8. Leuven: Peeters, 2002.




Art as a tool for the promotion of reflexive practice in health care education

Tamar Tembeck, McGill University (faculty member)
Melissa Park, McGill University (faculty member)
Florence Vinit, Université du Québec à Montréal (faculty member)
Hiba Zafran, McGill University (faculty member)
Jiameng Xu
, McGill University (MD/PhD student)


Saturday April 16 / Samedi 16 avril

Fairmount Queen Elizabeth / Convention Floor/ Hochelaga 6

National and global policies addressing the social accountability of medical schools, created to instill in future healthcare practitioners a responsiveness to the most pressing health needs in their communities, remain unfulfilled. Despite recent efforts to infuse medical education with the humanities and social sciences, curriculums continue to support a practitioner-centric focus on technical proficiency rather than qualities fostering alignment of practitioner expertise with patients’ health concerns. The panelists propose, building on a recent article in Canadian Family Physician calling social accountability “the heart” of practice, that artistic practices developed in and for medical environments may be effectively used to cultivate reflexivity, or critical reflection upon the dominant and traditional narrative of professional expertise, so that practitioners may balance the latter with knowledge of what it means to be human facing extraordinary conditions. The five-member panel will present multi-media case studies of specific aesthetic approaches (e.g. installation art, projective assessments and arts-based practices, bodily-sensing techniques) that uncover unsuspected tools at practitioners’ disposal for being accountable to those they work with rather than the system they work within. Panelists will consider: the competences of clown-doctors; the video installation by Austrian artist Christina Lammer of physicians answering, “What is a patient?”; the underground aesthetic practices between children with autism and occupational therapists; how aesthetic practices challenge conceptualizations of psychosis; and a student-organized exhibition of artworks by patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and trainees. Audience members will discuss how these and other approaches can enable practitioners to discover and remain near to patients’ needs and worldviews.

Keywords: Reflexivity, social accountability, aesthetic practice

R. Meili & S. Buchman. (2013). Social accountability: at the heart of family medicine. Canadian Family Physician, 59:335-6.




Encounters and non-encounters : navigating services for Inuit

Sarah Fraser, Professeur adjointe, École de Psychoéducation, Université de Montréal
Melissa Sokoloff, Doctorante, Sciences Humaines Appliquées, Université de Montréal
Andréanne Lemaire, Doctorante, Psychologie, Université du Québec à Montreal
Remy Rouillard, Postdoctorant, Psychoéducation, Université de Montréal
Lena D’Ostie Racine, Doctorante, Psychologie, Université de Montréal
Melanie Vachon, Professeure aggrégé, Psychologie, Université du Québec à Montreal
Erin Manning, Professeure aggrégé, Studio Arts, Université de Concordia
Chloe Nahas, Agente de Programmation Board of Health and Social Services of Nunavik

Saturday April 16 / Samedi 16 avril

Fairmount Queen Elizabeth / Convention Floor/ Hochelaga 6

Inuit are perhaps the most affected by health and social disparities experienced by Indigenous peoples of Canada. A variety of barriers to utilization of health services have been identified and include experiences of discrimination, having to navigate racialized systems, lack of cultural adequacy of services, language barriers, and miscommunication. Inspired by concepts such as cultural competence and cultural safety, but also weary of their limitations, we are particularly interested in the interpersonal and systemic dynamics that take place in interculural encounters within institutions. We question what « safe spaces » may look like. What are the necessary elements to create these safe spaces when working together towards culturally safe care ? How do individuals nagivate spaces made available to them and how do these experiences influence the encounters that take place within them ? In this symposium, we propose an iterative encounter with four distinct projects that create and explore spaces of encounter in the field of Inuit health and wellbeing.  We explore the co-creation of an Inuit community center meant for community mobilisation ;  the creation of participatory art meant to increase cultural awareness of service providers working with Inuit in Montreal; the experience of a community social circus in Nunavut as an alternative form of prevention and intervention ; and the use of esthetics in knowledge tranfer activities for service providers and community member in the context of Inuit health services. We stop at the junctions between arts, esthetics, humanity, health, reflection and action in order to re-imagine and enact modes of encounters that honour the inherent complexities of Culturally Safe Care



TIFF Reel Comfort: Community Partnership as Informal Education

Anna Skorzewska MD,  Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Elysse Leonard, Toronto International Film Festival
Smrita Grewal, MD Psychiatry Resident, University of Toronto
Leslie Supnet, Filmmaker

Saturday April 16 / Samedi 16 avril

Fairmount Queen Elizabeth / Convention Floor/ Matapédia

The vast majority of research in medical education is dedicated to the formal curriculum, be it in the classroom or in the clinic. There has been and is a growing interest in informal educational modalities—some positive, such as the effects of good role modeling, and some negative, often in connection with the hidden curriculum. One area of research that remains underdeveloped is the role of strategic community partnerships in promoting knowledge exchange and modeling in the clinical setting, for learners at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. This panel will address how collaboration between arts and health organizations can contribute to positive health outcomes for patients while including the community in the medical enterprise, thereby increasing public awareness and reducing stigma around health care services.

Toronto General Hospital has developed a program together with the Toronto International Film Festival (Reel Comfort) that brings films, filmmakers, and film-craft workshops to psychiatric inpatients. It is now in its 9th year and has expanded to 5 teaching hospitals. Evaluation of the program shows an impact on self-esteem, social skills, assertiveness and communication skills in patients. In addition, preliminary data shows that the effect is bidirectional, with learning happening at the facilitator level as well. Workshop facilitators–local filmmakers— demonstrate a greater understanding and empathy around mental health issues, as well as significant satisfaction and enjoyment in the work. This kind of joint initiative can serve as an important role model to all kinds of learners.

Key Words: Role Modeling, Community Engagement, Mental Health Advocacy