Join us at

Synesthesia 2019: A Healer’s Art, an annual art show organized by U of T Faculty of Medicine, ArtBeat, and the U of T Interdisciplinary Healthcare Faculties.

Please submit your work to: by MARCH 17, 11:59 PM

This event gives students in all healthcare fields the opportunity to showcase their talent by displaying their art. We have artists displaying their work from all healthcare fields including alumni. We are bringing art and humanities into medicine and health! This event is open to all students in healthcare across Ontario. If you are at another university and are interested in participating in our event, please do not hesitate to submit your artwork for us to display!

WHERE: MSB Stone Lobby

WHEN: April 8, 2018 from 9:00am – 5:00pm

PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP led by Dr. Dawn Lim: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm in the medical student lounge


ARTIST MEET & GREET from 4:00pm – 5:00pm

ARTWORK PICKUP and RETURNS: 5:00-5:30pm in the Medical Students’ Lounge, MSB

CHECK OUT OUR Facebook Event Page:

Poetry at Sinai Health: Upcoming events for April/Poetry Month

Poetry at Sinai Health — 2 Events in April,

National Poetry Month A Writing and Reflection Workshop for Residents, MD Educators and Practitioners

with Ronna Bloom, Sinai Health’s Poet-In-Residence:

Have You Seen the Patient? 

Using reflective writing as a platform, explore what it is to “see” your patient, as a care provider, team member, and as a human being. Have a conversation with yourself and each other about the rich nature of patient-centred collaborative work.

April 10, 2019, 6pm-8pm
Mount Sinai Hospital, OT Room 941

Ronna Bloom is the author of six books of poetry. Her most recent book, The More, (Pedlar Press, 2017) was longlisted for the 2018 City of Toronto Book Award. Ronna is currently Poet in Community at the University of Toronto and Poet in Residence at Sinai Health.

There is no fee for participation in each workshop, but a firm commitment once registered is expected. Please advise well in advance if you’re unable to attend, as these workshops generally have a wait-list. Inter-professional practitioners are welcome, space permitting.

You can register with:


A Panel of Poets, Doctors and Educators


Why Are You So Scared? & Other Questions about Poetry, Medicine and Shocks of Mortality

A conversation with a poet-physician, a poet-patient, and the Mount Sinai poet-in-residence.

With Shane Neilson, author of Dysphoria (PQL); Molly Peacock, author of The Analyst (Biblioasis); and Ronna Bloom, author of The More (Pedlar Press).

Moderated by Dr. Allan Peterkin, author of Staying Human During Residency Training (University of Toronto Press)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 6-9pm
Mount Sinai Hospital, Auditorium, 18th Floor,

SYNESTHESIA ART SHOW and PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP at the UofT Medical School April 8 , 2019

Storytelling Through Photography:

Finding Connection Through Medicine – with Dr. Dawn Lim

Open to medical students, residents , fellows and learners from other clinical disciplines at no charge, but please make a firm commitment once registered.

April 8th, 2019 from 1-2 pm

in the medical student lounge .

Please visit this year’s Synesthesia Art Show prior to or after the workshop!
**Maximum number of participants is 30**

Space is limited. Please be sure you can commit to attending and

RSVP to:

Goals of the photography workshop

  • Learn to appreciate visual cues and the stories behind them through analyzing a series of well-known known photographs
  • How to pitch a story: go behind the scenes of a recent emergency medical photo series by Dr. Lim
  • Discover how photography as a medium for storytelling may be used as a tool for advocacy

If students have their own camera gear, they are welcome to bring it along!

 Biography for Dawn Lim:

 I am an emergency doctor, assistant professor of medicine, and an amateur photographer and writer based in Toronto. I enjoy weaving storytelling into my practice to help me connect to my patients. I feel storytelling builds empathy and is a great way to combine my interests in medicine and the arts. I’m particularly interested in photo-essays depicting motherhood and life in the emergency department.

My website is

Useful website reference: National Geographic’s Your Shot forum at

4 Part Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Course For Residents

Dear Residents/Postgraduate Trainees,

The Postgraduate Wellness Office is pleased to support an Emotion-Focused Mindfulness course funded by Post-MD Education and sponsored by the Program In Health, Arts and Humanities.

The course dates are: March 26, April 23, May 28, June 25 (4th Tuesday of each month)

Time: 6:15pm-8:45pm

Room: 3rd floor, 500 University Ave, Postgraduate Wellness Office

Maximum number of participants: Twelve.  We are able to accommodate the first 12 postgraduate trainees who RSVP. Commitment to attendance at ALL 4 sessions is required.

Cost: Free of cost. Course is funded by Post-MD Education

    A firm commitment is expected once you sign up and because there will be  a wait      list, please notify us well in advance of cancellation.

Please RSVP

Course Description:

We tend to spend a lot of time in our heads detached from feelings or too immersed in and buffeted by stressful emotions and thoughts. Mindful experiencing brings us in touch with our implicit feelings about situations in a spacious way that heightens self-compassion and lowers reactivity. This creates optimal conditions that can be used in meditation and conversation to make sense of how we feel, sort out what matters to us, and how to better navigate situations.

The workshop will include sitting meditation, journaling and discussing the experience, talks and discussion, a brief gentle set of functional exercises particularly helpful for folks who do a lot of key boarding, and, if we have room, walking meditation.

 Learning goals:                        

•  Enhance calm, self-compassionate empathy, therapeutic presence, and equanimity

•  Describe how reflecting on implicit experience in meditation deepens authenticity and experiencing and enhances self-care and creativity

•  Develop own meditation practice at home

•  Integrate empirically-based experiential tasks into meditation for finding appropriate distance from stressors and coming alive to and better navigating the present moment

•  Describe how contemporary emotion theory relates to mindfulness practice and apply it in meditation practice

•  Learn techniques for calming overwhelming distress and calming and grounding dissociation

•  Compare and contrast Buddhist roots with this practice

Facilitator: Bill Gayner, BSW, MSW, RSW

Please contact us if you have any questions or you want to RSVP for this great opportunity.


Julie Maggi, MD MSc FRCPC
Director, Postgraduate Wellness Office
Post MD Education, Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto


Allan Peterkin MD, FCFP, FRCP
Director, Program In Health, Arts and Humanities,
University of Toronto


Dr. Glen Bandiera
Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education

Mindfulness Training and Research Initiative at Sick Kids, Toronto

The Hospital for Sick Children is conducting a research study and we are recruiting physicians in the GTA to take part in a 5 week mindfulness training program that is part of a PhD research project. This study is being conducted through the Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

The purpose of this research study is to assess the impact of mindfulness training on the wellbeing of physicians.

Why participate?

Mindfulness has been indicated to:

Increase personal wellbeing, work-life balance, resiliency & self-regulation

Decrease burn-out & stress

Positively impact the quality of patient-physician relationships

Build effective communication skills

Significantly add to the growing conversation around the importance of physician wellbeing

Program & participation details

Five 2hr training sessions held onsite at SickKids Hospital

Participants can select an option from several days/times

• As part of the study, participants will be asked to complete pre- and post-surveys, as well as participate in a post-program qualitative interview either onsite at SickKids or over the phone (exact times will be coordinated with participants within three weeks of their final program session)

If you are interested in participating in this training program and study, please click on the link below to register or email us at mindfulresearch@utoronto.cato receive further details.


Or copy link into browser:

Participation in any research study is voluntary. Your decision to not participate will not affect your relationship to SickKids. If you decide to participate in this study, you can change your mind at any time without giving a reason.

Interested but not sure if this is for you? We want to connect! Please reach out to learn more about the program before making a commitment.

Thank you for your time,

Elli Weisbaum

PhD Candidate & Research Coordinator

Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Department of Neuroscience & Mental Health, SickKids Hospital

Art Gallery of Ontario Elective Opportunity

An opportunity to view and make art through the lens of the body

What story does art tell of the body and our relationship to it? Through a mix of gallery tours, discussion, and drawing classes, this course provides an introduction to how art can help us think about the body, and our social engagement with the body. We aim to foster a discussion about the intertwined history of medicine and the visual arts, and to encourage ‘critical’ looking.

This course is co-led by AGO’s artist-instructor Kerry Kim together with Allison Crawford and Lisa Richardson.

Course Dates: October 11, October 25, November 8, November 22

Course Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm

Eligibility: No art experience necessary. All course attendees must be a current University of Toronto student.

Cost: There is no cost for the course. Thanks to funding from Post-MD Education at the University of Toronto.

$10 for materials. Materials will be available to purchase and pick up the week of the course at:

Aboveground Art Supplies

74 McCaul Street

Toronto, ON M5T 3K2

Registration-For Medical learners Only:

To register go to eventbrite:

Please be sure to register through this eventbrite link and NOT through the Art Gallery of Ontario website. Kindly bring a copy of your “Free” ticket on Thursday October 11th along with your materials.

*Note: There is a limited number of seats for this course. Please register as soon as possible!

For more information please visit:

Please address queries to:

Allison Crawford MD PhD FRCPC

Two Unique Narrative Medicine Offerings in 2018

1) New Humanities Writing Course – Save the Date!

“Fostering Narrative Competence: Reflective and Creative Writing for Clinicians and Educators.”

Fostering Narrative Competence will focus on developing the skills of close reading and reflective and creative writing through discussion of published work, sharing student writing in a guided, workshop setting, and a selection of writing and creativity exercises. The course is open to writers at all levels interested in working in a variety of genres (fiction, memoir, poetry , drama, non-fiction, etc.).

Fostering Narrative Competence is intended to nurture and aid health care practitioners who wish to devote time and attention to their reading and writing but lack the support of an engaged creative community to support their efforts.

For detailed information including schedule. Registration information to follow. Space is limited to 15 participants.

The course will consist of 8 sessions between Jan 10, 2018-May 2, 2018 and will be led by Damian Tarnopolsky, the author of Goya’s Dog, a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the First Novel Award, and the short fiction collection Lanzmann and Other Stories, which was nominated for the ReLit Award.

If you have questions, please contact Farah Friesen at

To Register – go to:

2) Narrative Healthcare Atelier-CPD Certificate Program

Mount Sinai Psychotherapy Institute

DATES: June 1-4, 2018
Visiting Keynote Speaker: Ronald M. Epstein, MD

Course Directors: Allan Peterkin, MD & Michael Roberts, MD

Canada’s Only Advanced Training Seminar in Narrative-based Healthcare for Health Practitioners and Educators across Clinical Disciplines

Explore and reflect critically on your clinical practices, challenges, personal and professional growth as health providers using narrative, storytelling and arts-based learning. This 4 day workshop is designed to help you improve outcomes and to humanize your experiences within complex healthcare contexts. Themes related to relationship-centered care, professionalism, team collaboration and the hidden curriculum will be explored through visual, cinematic and literary texts including fiction, drama and poetry.

This intensive, interactive atelier will apply narrative theory and reflective practice in the contexts of interprofessional patient-centred healthcare, research and education. It aims to: enliven your engagement and collaboration as clinicians and educators from all disciplines; support best practices as teachers, clinicians and lifelong learners; transform the paradigm of your daily professional practice with a renewed commitment to the core values of humanistic healthcare.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
* Analyze and critique the principles and practices of narrative-based healthcare and research.
* Utilize and deepen interpretive and evaluative skills of close reading and reflective writing with a view to enhance diagnosis and treatment
* Employ narrative practices to champion creatively patient-centred care and reflective practice in their interprofessional clinical and/or teaching settings.

Narrative Atelier Certificate Program
For those who wish to apply to the Certificate Program beyond the 4-day atelier, additional participation will be required, with individualized, supervised learning activites, reflective writing and assignments focused on health humanities program development. Evaluation of competency will include both written and verbal feedback.
1. Participants must complete a scholarly article and narrative reflections. Individualized written assessment and longitudinal feedback will be provided by workshop faculty.
2. In consultation with workshop faculty, participants will also develop a two-year outline/action plan on how they will incorporate narrative practice into teaching and/or patient care, with an evaluation framework, for the milieux in which they work.

Fees & Registration
In response to very helpful feedback and in order to make the Narrative Atelier more accessible to learners from multiple disciplines, we have created the following fee structure for the workshop:
Non-Physician Clinicians/Educators: $1000
Physicians: $1500
Certificate Fee: $500 (additional fee; by application only)

RONALD EPSTEIN, M.D. is Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Oncology and Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, board-certified in Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and author of Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness and Humanity. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Epstein is internationally known for his research on communication in healthcare, his writings about mindful practice and assessment in medical education. He is Director of the Center for Communication and Disparities Research, which focuses on how to improve quality of care and communication between clinicians, patients and their loved ones. He also co-directs the Deans Teaching Fellowship program to promote excellence in medical education, and co-directs Mindful Practice Programs to provide educational workshops for health care professionals. He has over 250 publications.

ALLAN PETERKIN, MD, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Toronto, where he heads the Health, Arts and Humanities Program ( and curates Team Narrative, a group of colleagues who work in many health and training settings, from undergraduate medical schools to post-graduate residency programs to ICU staff. He is the author of 14 books for adults and children including, “Staying Human During Residency Training” (6th ed., 2016) and is a founding editor of the literary journal Ars Medica ( He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College

MICHAEL ROBERTS, MD, FCFP, is an Assistant Professor, Health and Humanities Lead and Professional Development Coordinator in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. An Innovator and Medical Education Scholar in the use of reading and writing to encourage reflection and resilience, Dr. Roberts has facilitated Narrative Medicine training through Faculty Development locally and nationally within the field of Family Medicine. Dr. Roberts is co-author with Dr. Peterkin, “Narrative Means to Professional Ends: New Strategies for Teaching CanMeds in Canadian Medical Schools” (CFP 2012).

To Register, go to :

Telling Trauma Through Art

The three-part seminar series offers a combination of discussion/case presentation/experiential reflection on psychological trauma and its treatment. Participants explore the ways images illuminate states of mind related to trauma – and how images also serve as a means for their transformation.

The series is open to all residents, medical students, and learners from other clinical disciplines. Although art-making will happen, art-making experience or confidence is not necessary. There is no cost for participation, but enrolment is required.


Why use art to learn about trauma?

Trauma can be seen as the unspeakable that demands expression and will take it in many non-verbal forms. Secrets and silence are its common idiom. In treating trauma, psychodynamic therapy greatly benefits from fluency in the world of images. The mind’s use of images in grasping, organising and resolving trauma is constant, creative and effective — whether or not these pictures are ever made visible. Images are the media of post-traumatic re-experiencing, avoidance, and intrusion. How we understand and respond to these images — whether in visual art, metaphors, body markings, dreams or flashbacks — significantly affects the process and outcome of therapy.

* a guided practice of looking at images made in and out of therapy,
* participants’ own image-making, and
* conversation about the echoes between visual marks and states of mind that create them,

Learners will:
* better grasp the languages of distress, the possible meanings of non-verbal expression, and explore ways of attending to what can’t yet be said in therapy;
* learn about uses of visual art in therapy;
* learn about a clinically helpful way of looking at art;
* gain experience in self-reflection via art-making.

Time and place:

Wednesdays January 10. 17, 24 from 6:15pm-7:45pm
Women’s College Hospital, 7th floor


Eva-Marie Stern, MA, RP, Clinical Member: Ontario Society of Psychotherapists, Adjunct Lecturer, Dept of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, co-founded WRAP in 1998. She practices, teaches and supervises within Women’s College Hospital’s Trauma Therapy Program and in private practice.

Offered in conjunction with the Program In Health, Arts and Humanities

Looking Through Art: Art and Medicine

An Elective for Health Sciences Students and Medical Residents, University of Toronto

Looking Through Art: Art and Medicine


Allison Crawford, MD, PhD, FRCPC Healthcare, Arts and Humanities Program, University of Toronto;
Lisa Richardson, MD, MA, FRCPC Centre for Excellence in Education and Practice, University Health Network;
Kerry Kim, Art Gallery of Ontario

This elective will take place at the Art Gallery of Ontario in spring 2018, dates TBD, 6-9PM.  Pre-registration is necessary, and we ask that students commit to all five sessions as space is limited.  NO PRIOR ART EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY.

Through a mix of gallery tours, discussion, and drawing classes we will:

* introduce you to the techniques of drawing and image-making practices of representing the body
* foster a discussion about the intertwined history of medicine and the visual arts, and
* encourage ‘critical’ looking.

For more information or to register please email BOTH and

Registration will be on first come basis; group will be limited to 15 participants; please indicate which program and year you are in.

We will also consider faculty who want to take the course in order to create visual literacy teaching strategies of their own.

The STORYTELLING Workshops – Submission Deadline

ARS MEDICA- A Journal of Medicine, The Arts and Humanities  and MASSEY COLLEGE invite applications for :



WORKSHOPS BEGIN SEPTEMBER 2017 and run for 10 weeks

The art of telling – and listening to – stories is fundamental to what it means to be human.  If you are a student in medicine, nursing or any of the allied health professions, learning how to write and reflect  on  narratives will give you a powerful ability to build therapeutic and collegial relationships.

The act of storytelling is a craft that can be developed with practice .    Each of us can develop our own individual style and develop our unique voice in the writing genre of our choice.  The Storytelling Workshop will introduce you to the art of telling stories and help you find your own approach to practicing this craft.

This series of 10 weekly evening workshops will center on developing storytelling, narrative competence and written communication abilities, in a relaxed, supportive  setting. A small inter-professional group of University of Toronto students from dentistry, medical radiation science, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, physician assistants, and social work speech pathology will be selected for the opportunity to enhance their skills through writing, editing and focused discussions. Trainees not yet in full-time independent professional practice, including residents, Fellows, Masters and doctoral students  are also welcome to apply. Students from arts and humanities disciplines are invited to apply if they have an interest in further developing the health humanities /medical humanities field here at the University of Toronto.

GOAL: We encourage workshop participants to craft at least one piece of poetry, fiction, memoir or creative non-fiction for submission  to ARS MEDICA:  A Journal of Medicine, Health and the Humanities  ( by the end of the seminar. ARS MEDICA actively recruits creative writing by  students and trainees across healthcare disciplines.

Please write a 500-1000 word personal essay, poem or story, on any subject you choose. Send your submission as a PDF or Word document to by July 31st,  2017.

Please indicate which faculty you belong to and your year of study. There is no fee for this workshop and the evening meeting time will be established by the consent of those selected.

FACULTY: Damian Tarnopolsky is the author of two books: the novel Goya’s Dog, a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the First Novel Award, and the short fiction collection Lanzmann and Other Stories, which was nominated for the ReLit Award. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto and has taught writing and literature at the School of Continuing Studies, Humber College and the Junction Writes workshop. He is the proprietor of Slingsby and Dixon, an editorial services company in Toronto, a former editor at Random House of Canada, and Managing Editor of the Toronto Review of Books. He previously served as the Barbara Moon/Ars Medica Editorial Fellow in 2014-15.

The Storytelling initiative is an ongoing collaboration between Massey College and Ars Medica – A Journal of Medicine, The Arts and Humanities (, in conjunction with the University of Toronto Health, Arts and Humanities Program ( .

The workshop was created with a  generous donation from the  estate of  Barbara Moon. Ongoing funding from the Faculty of Medicine and Massey College have kept this wonderful inter-professional opportunity alive.

New Music and Health Interest Group For 2016


Music has been intimately entwined in the human saga since as far back as can be determined by archeological digs . From eighty-thousand year-old ancient flutes to modern day synthesizers, there has yet to be a culture discovered where music was non-existent. What is it about music that moves human’s so deeply? How is it that music has become so interwoven with the human condition that our very physiology can be changed in the presence of song? Older people affected by the late stages of dementia can still recognize sentimental melodies. People  living with mental illness can find refuge and empowerment through musical expression. Stroke survivors who can no longer speak are able to rehabilitate their expressive communication through singing. Music is a vessel that can connect patients to the healthy side of who they are. It is undeniably powerful, and yet appears to be underutilized in Canadian healthcare.
The Music and Health Lecture Series will bring together professionals  (musicians, music lovers, scholars, scientists, researchers) across Toronto to discuss various aspects of how music can impact health, wellbeing, and the lives of our future patients. By attending these talks you will gain a deeper understanding of the field of music therapy, music cognition, and the broad  applications of music in modern healthcare.
The Music and Health Initiative will exist to provide medical students with an unprecedented insight into how music (in all its forms) can be used to benefit the lives of patients of all ages and across countless diagnoses and medical conditions. It looks to bring together those in the medical class who have a music background and wish to learn how to apply music in patient care, and those who do not play music but who are interested in learning about the science and benefits of exposure to music and music therapy.

Main Goals of the Initiative:
– Learn what Music Therapy is and its many applications in healthcare settings
– Learn about the benefits of exposure to Music and Music Therapy for diverse patient populations
– Connect and stay updated with research from the Music and Health Research Collaboratory in Toronto
– Listen to experts in the field, ranging from music therapists to researchers and physicians who are researching the use of music in medical practice and in enhancing resilience and wellbeing
– Become an advocate for the field so that the use of music in clinical settings can become more widespread across Ontario and all of Canada

Please feel free to direct any questions to:
Adriano Mollica

Health Narratives Research Group (HeNReG)

When: Weekly sessions begin Wednesday 7 Oct. 2015, 4:00–6:00
Where: Mount Sinai Hospital
Address: 600 University Avenue, Room 941

The Health Narratives Research Group (HeNReG) allows researchers the opportunity to take the personally relevant stories that initiated their commitment to health care and develop them into narratives with a particular point of view. The process includes both personal reflection and the willingness to share one’s story and gain additional insights from the rest of the group.

The HeNReG is a voluntary, non-credit group open to any member of the university community interested in health care. Diversity of membership is both supported and encouraged. We encourage participants to develop their narrative into a piece for publication in either written (e.g. memoir, poem) or alternative format (e.g. graphic novelization). Completed narratives may be submitted to ARS MEDICA ( or posted on the group’s site.

The HeNReG is facilitated by philosopher of education Dr. Carol Nash, who as Scholar in Residence in the History of Medicine has created this process for developing narrative in collaboration with Professor Edward Shorter, the Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine. The group is supported by the Health Arts and Humanities Program directed by Dr. Allan Peterkin at the Mount Sinai Hospital.

The HeNReG meets weekly on Wednesdays between the first week in October and the last week in April. Participants can join anytime by contacting Dr. Nash at There is a natural break at the end of the calendar year and new members often join in January.