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reImagining Medicine

Reimagining Medicine

A pilot program for rising juniors and seniors in the Duke premed program.
The program runs from May 20 through July 13. Current Students

The goal of this undergraduate, premedical pilot program is to foster the strength of character, practices, and philosophical foundation necessary for the practice of medicine. Through their participation in the program during the junior and senior years, students will engage with leaders and practitioners from a wide variety of disciplines to develop the skills and insights needed to work in contexts of human suffering, loss, and death.

Students will live together on campus, and housing costs will be covered plus a $2000 stipend. The program will require approximately four hours per day, varying with different activities, so students can continue work part-time in a lab or engage in other on-campus job or research activities.

Duke Premed Students

Skills Development & Activities

The program will focus on a range of skill sets and activities, including these:

  • Develop communication and decision-making skills through immersive experiences in medical improvisation, motivational interviewing, and practice with standardized patients.
  • Develop skills in Narrative Medicine.
  • Develop novel concepts and frames regarding the human body through engagement with experts from performance arts.
  • Engage in reflective exercises that address the physician’s human response to challenging ethical scenarios and emotionally complex clinical situations.
  • Discover ways in which the humanities and the arts can develop the imaginative reach required in clinical setting with patients with different cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Develop strategies for self-awareness and self-care in chronic high-stress, high-stakes experiences such as medical training and practice.
  • Explore the roles of non-physician practitioners and non-medical participants in patient care to better understand the function of modern multidisciplinary approaches to the care of patients.

Selection Criteria

(participants will primarily be rising juniors and seniors, selected during the spring of their second year at Duke)

  • Academic excellence
  • Demonstrated desire and commitment to productive and constructive collaboration with others
  • Commitment to the integration of non-science disciplines into the practice of medicine
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Openness to learning from others, gathering multiple perspectives, and standing outside of your comfort zone

Program Activities:

  • Summer seminar to introduce the program and begin skills development
  • Expressive writing seminars throughout the summer program in parallel with development of theoretical knowledge and skills in narrative medicine
  • Instruction in medical improvisation and its application to communication and complex decision making
  • Weekly seminars with clinicians, patient advocates, and engaged community members to discuss challenges and solutions in contemporary medicine
  • Experience with performance arts including puppetry to address topics related to suffering, illness, and the body
  • Opportunities for sustained encounters with patients, families, and medical staff through non-traditional shadowing opportunities
  • Opportunities to mentor new students in the program as upper-level students gain experience
  • Opportunities for collaboration with mentors and scholarly work at the intersection of medicine, humanities, ethics, and the arts, potentially leading to publication
  • Seminars throughout the academic year aimed at development of skills and mentored discussion on a variety of topics


Apply Online


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