Health Humanities event: the poetry of psychosis 🗓

Join the League of Canadian Poets and the Canadian Association for Health Humanities for the latest session in the Cross Pollinations Virtual Rounds Series!

When: Wednesday, October 27, 6pmEST/3pmPST

Topic: The Poetics of Psychosis

Speakers: Bahar Orang (physician and poet) and Khashayar Mohammadi (poet)


The Poetics of Psychosis: Join us with poet Khashayar Mohammadi, drawing on his experiences with psychosis, and poet-physician Bahar Orang, drawing on her psychiatry training, for an integrated discussion on poetry and medicine as they relate to medical cultures and discourses of psychosis.

Bahar Orang is a writer and physician-in-training living in Toronto. Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty is her first book.

Khashayar Mohammadi is a queer, Iranian born, Toronto-based Poet, Writer and Translator. He is the author of four poetry Chapbooks. His debut poetry collection Me, You, Then Snow is out with Gordon Hill Press.

The Canadian Association for Health Humanities and the League of Canadian Poets are partnering to deliver a series of monthly rounds focused on health, arts and humanities. These live sessions will feature both artists and professionals in the Health Humanities field for a multi-faceted conversation about topics related to healthcare, art, healing, and humanities.

This series is ideal for people in arts communities, poets and writers, as well as those working in healthcare.

This one-credit-per-hour Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 12  Mainpro+® credits.


Don’t’ Make A Scene: Mixed Media & Medicine goes to the Movies

sent on behalf of Jane Zhao & Conor Mc Donnell

Faculty, students, residents, come one come all. We invite you to join us for an exciting first foray into Film this year. People often discuss their favorite films but less frequently we hear conversation around the Scenes that Mean the Most. What are the standout scenes that shaped your life, contribute to how you engage with your work, your life, your family? Please bring a favorite scene or two for sharing on October 28th at 6:30pm. We are not big on rules but in the interest of safety we do ask the following:

  1. No long scenes: keep them under 2 minutes. We would prefer you bring two or three brief scenes rather than one long one.
  2. Sharing YouTube clips works best but please check the clip beforehand.
  3. Be prepared to discuss why this scene is important: when did you first see it? Who were you with? Why does it speak to you?
  4. No violence or vulgarity: this is not an invitation to make colleagues uncomfortable. While we are not in the business of censorship we will immediately remove inappropriate material.
  5. As always, be respectful; all choices and reasons for such are valid and welcome.

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. If you have any trouble registering please email:

See you at the movies!

Conor & Jane


Arts as Research: using the arts to  research communication

Sent on behalf of Hartley Jafine

For medical and healthcare students at all levels

Arts as Research is a series of 2 sessions (1 Fall, 1 Winter) exploring arts-based research methodologies and its value in healthcare.

Arts-based research (ABR) is the use of artistic practice, such as theatre or photography, as a means to collect, analyze, and communicate research (Leavy, 2015). Sessions will offer an introduction to ABR and illustrate how it has been used for research communication, development of policy, social engagement, pedagogy, and reflective practice. Join us to imagine how you can share your research through art.

Learning goals:
– Experiment creatively with artistic practices.
– Learn and engage with the process of creating arts-based research.
– Identify how the arts can be used for advocacy, research communication, reflection, and dialogue.
– Define arts-based research and identify its role within the health humanities and healthcare.

Facilitated by: Hartley Jafine
Instructor & Facilitator, Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) and Arts & Science Program
Lecturer (Part-Time), Department of Family Medicine
McMaster University

Session Dates
Session A – October 20, 2021 OR November 23, 2021
(Session A is the same session, offered twice)
Session B – February 8, 2022 OR March 15, 2022
(Session B is the same session, offered twice)

Time: 7:00-8:30PM (EST)
Join for one or both sessions

To register: contact

Hartley Jafine (he/him)
Facilitator, Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) and Arts & Science Program
Lecturer (Part-Time), Department of Family Medicine
McMaster University
Communication Coach
Post MD Education – Postgraduate Medical Education
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Interprofessional Arts-Based Learning Specialist
Baycrest Centre for Learning, Research & Innovation in Long-Term Care
Youtube Links:

Register Now for the Narrative-Based Medicine Certificate Program – Starting January 25, 2022!

Narrative-Based Medicine – Certificate Program
Register today to get started on January 25, 2022

Using Storytelling to Transform Healthcare

The narratives that patients and practitioners construct together can affect the nature and meaning of health events. Understanding how to listen, give voice to experience, and integrate insights gained from reflection can improve patient care and practitioner fulfillment.

You can now now register for Narrative-Based Medicine Digital Certificate Program, which starts on January 25, 2022.

This unique program offers training in narrative-based medicine skills such as close reading, reflective writing, listening and communication skills.

In 8 sessions held over 4 months, participants will:

  • Develop reflective and creative writing skills through tailored practical exercises
  • Gain one-on-one editing, guidance, and mentorship from experienced instructors
  • Discuss and develop ways to integrate narrative-based medicine techniques into daily clinical practice
  • Engage in a small group seminar format which encourages interaction, collaboration and teamwork
  • Build an interprofessional community of practice, learning and teaching in order to foster person-centered care and reflective self-care

Participants will gain abilities in reflectiveness, sensitivity to patients, teamwork and personal creativity, and heightened skills in close reading and reflective and creative writing.

See the program website for complete details and register to get started in January!

Scars, X-Rays, Tattoos, and Other Stories of The Body 🗓

A Workshop for Medical Students, Residents and Health Professionals 

When you look at a body, you see a history. 

Once the body isn’t seen anymore, 

the story it tried to tell gets lost.   

Louise Gluck

This workshop explores how our bodies tell stories and how we respond to them in ourselves and with each other. Using poems as prompts, we’ll write, aiming to explore and express some of what our bodies are saying, getting to hear and voice these implicit, ongoing conversations. In reflecting on our own embodied expressions, we’ll begin to reflect on the stories patients might be telling or not with theirs. The event is synced to Halloween, a public reminder of how we inhabit our bodies, consciously and unconsciously, by choice or by chance.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To get curious about the stories a body is telling
  2. To use poetry as a way to reflect on and deepen your health care practice
  3. To process experiences as a practitioner or student in health care
  4. To learn five rules for writing which can offer a method of self-care and reflection

Time and place:

Thursday October 28, 2021
On Zoom.

Register here.

Ronna Bloom is a poet and teacher. Her most recent book, The More, was published by Pedlar Press in 2017 and long listed for the City of Toronto Book Award. Her poems have been recorded by the CNIB and translated into Spanish, Bangla, and Chinese. She has collaborated with health care professionals, filmmakers, academics, students, spiritual leaders, and architects. A frequent guest in the faculties of Nursing, Medicine, Public Health, as well at teaching hospitals, she brings 25 years of psychotherapy practice to her work as a poet and facilitator.

Ronna developed the first Poet in Residence program at Sinai Health which ran from 2012-2019. She is currently Poet in Community to the University of Toronto and Poet in Residence in the Health, Arts and Humanities Programme. Her “Spontaneous Poetry Booth” and “RX for Poetry” have been featured in hospitals and fundraisers in Canada and abroad. A chapbook of Ronna’s new poems, Who is your mercy contact? will be published by Espresso-Chapbooks in January 2022.

Ronna Bloom, M.ED
Poet in Residence, HAH, University of Toronto
Poet in Community, University of Toronto

Art is Patient: exploring visual arts + relationships in health care 🗓

For medical and healthcare students at all levels

Art is Patient is a series of 3 seminars to explore visual art in a museum context, as an analogue to meeting patients in our offices.

The course introduces learners to a series of fresh steps to see art objects. Through facilitated looking, talking and mark-making, it offers an enlightening way of meeting and understanding the people we work with. The approach recognizes that we don’t need background knowledge – any specialized education — in order to learn to get to know objects and Others in a humane and meaningful way.

The seminars turn a group of learners and a museum into a dynamic lab for visual literacy. In each of three linked sessions, the educator leads the group in engaging with one or two pieces of artwork with openness, curiosity, creative collaboration, and humility.

Learning goals:

Sharpened technical abilities such as close observation, diagnostic acumen, pattern recognition and the perception of non-verbal cues

Enhanced cognitive skills, such as description and interpretation (and understanding the distinction between them), critical thinking, and metacognition

Enriched interpersonal skills with both patients and colleagues, such as collaboration, social awareness and cultural sensitivity

Furthered professional growth: professional identity formation and the nurturing of humanistic qualities such as empathy, tolerance of ambiguity, creativity and enhanced self-reflection.


Facilitated by Eva-Marie Stern, RP, MA
Art Psychotherapist, Adjunct Faculty Dept of Psychiatry, Specialist in Arts-based Education

2021 Fall semester: Wednesdays November 3, 10, 17

4:00pm to 5:30pm at the Royal Ontario Museum (tickets provided; double-vaccination required)

Limited enrolment! This is an in-person small group experience. Attendance at all 3 seminars required to participate

To register: contact


Dear Colleagues,

Postgraduate Medical Education continues to offer the Medical Humanities Education Matching Funding Grant in the amount of $5,000 per project proposal, distributed on a semi-annual basis.

I am writing to announce the call for the fall 2021 submissions. The submission deadline is October 15, 2021 with grants awarded to the successful applicants in December.

The integration of humanities in medical education curricula has the potential to improve observation skills, self-reflection, and enhance learner competencies in the CanMEDS roles. Projects and proposals may reflect a variety of curricular designs which identify how medical humanities will be integrated into curricula and further enhance CanMEDS competencies.

Each proposal will require a matching funding commitment from the submitting department/division, i.e., if the project budget is $4,500 – a letter from the department chair committing to $2,250 is required. Funding will be provided for a one year period, and applicants must agree to submit a project report at end of the period.

PGME will transfer the awarded funds to the successful applicant’s Academic Department in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. Business Managers will provide Financial Information Services (FIS) account numbers to facilitate this transfer within four weeks of application approval or the funding offer will be withdrawn. The Academic Department will be responsible for the disbursement of funds to the successful applicant.

Attached is further background on the purpose of the grant as well as a template for the application. Please distribute widely.

We look forward to receiving applications for the Medical Humanities Education Grant by October 15, 2021.

Please submit your package by email to Arlene McKinley at


Cinema Medica presents: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly 

Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly depicts the life of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who developed locked-in syndrome resulting from a stroke at age 43. The film is based on the 1997 memoir of the same name, which Bauby wrote over ten months by blinking his left eyelid. Subjective cinematography – the story is told from Bauby’s literal point of view – voiceover, and impressionistic sequences convey Bauby’s rich inner world and interactions with various health care providers with great empathy. The film takes place in the hospital in Berck-sur-Mer where Bauby was a patient, with the staff making appearances in the cast.

View the trailer here:

Date & Time: Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 at 6pm.

How It Will Work: If you register, you will get a link to join us for the screening and discussion.

Register at!

For more information, please contact Michael Tau:


The IPE Curriculum Portfolio at the Centre for Interprofessional Education and The Program In Health, Arts and Humanities  at the University of Toronto invites students to apply for the Interprofessional Health, Arts & Humanities Certificate Program.  Students wishing to engage in more specialized collaborative, experiential learning opportunities may apply to complete this Certificate Program.  This highly rated course will provide students with narrative-based skills, mindfulness training  and arts-based experiences that will support enhanced patient/client care and leadership skills. Some slots remain.



Dear Friends (old & new),

The good news is that MMM Rounds is back just in time for the new school year.

The better news is that we are putting a curriculum together for MMM Rounds so you know what we will be discussing well in advance. We are aiming for 8-10 meetings in the next 12 months and we have left two blocks blank for input & content suggestion from you guys. As per last year we will be exploring poetry, film, graphic novels/zines/visual art & other media to provide a safe space for participants to discuss short(ish) representations that address spirit, wellness, resilience, consciousness, and reflection.

Our first meeting will be this coming Thursday (September 23rd) at 18:30 hrs, Eastern Time. Meetings are 1-hour duration and recur the fourth Thursday of every month. (We will create a recurring meeting invite in plenty of time for October & beyond).

Our first meeting this Thursday will comprise (re)introductions and we will spend some time looking at, exploring and sharing Erasure poetry. Feel free to read up on erasure poetry beforehand but that is not a prerequisite requirement, we just want you to turn up and enjoy ourselves.

Hope to see you at our Zoom session:

When: Sep 23, 2021 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Conor & Jane

Health Humanities POETRY event with Hsien Seow and Shazia Hafiz Ramji 🗓

Join the Canadian Association for Health Humanities and the League of Canadian Poets on Wednesday, September 29, at 6:00pm EST for the September edition of Cross-Pollinations, with Hsien Seow of McMaster University and poet Shazia Hafiz Ramji.

The Canadian Association for Health Humanities and the League of Canadian Poets are partnering to deliver a series of monthly rounds focused on health, arts and humanities. These live sessions will feature both artists and professionals in the Health Humanities field for a multi-faceted conversation about topics related to healthcare, art, healing, and humanities.

In this ground-breaking new series, health humanities and poetry come together under the same scope, combining artistic expression with health practice and research. The conversations of Cross-Pollinations will illuminate new and emerging insights and perspectives on healthcare opportunities and challenges, healthcare approaches and advances, as well as build bridges of connection between health professionals, humanities and the arts.

This series is ideal for people in arts communities, poets and writers, as well as those working in healthcare.

This one-credit-per-hour Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 12  Mainpro+® credits.

Our August event with a presentation from Zamina Mithani, Nancy Duan, and Karen Wang of the University of British Columbia, with a reading from poet Conyer Clayton, was absolutely delightful. If you couldn’t make it, or want to revisit the event, you can now watch the recording here:

Our September event next week also promises to be very exciting. Join us for a presentation from Hsien Seow of McMaster University, discussing the health care podcast The Waiting Room Revolution.. Hsien Seow, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology, McMaster University and the Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care and Health System Innovation. His interests are to improve the experience of facing serious illness for patients and families. Funded research focuses on provider education, home care interventions, and patient-family experience. He earned a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and a BSc from Yale University. His research website is He is the co-host of the popular health care podcast The Waiting Room Revolution, a public facing education about a re-imagining of palliative care, with a new season launching in September 2021.

Hsien will be joined by poet Shazia Hafiz Ramji, who will read following his presentation. Shazia Hafiz Ramji’s writing has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2019Maisonneuve, and is forthcoming in Event and Canthius. Shazia was named as a “writer to watch” by the CBC, and her poetry and prose have been nominated for the 2020 Pushcart Prizes. She is the author of Port of Being, a finalist for the 2019 Vancouver Book Award, BC Book Prizes (Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and winner of the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. She is a co-editor for Watch Your Head, an anthology on the climate crisis and is at work on a novel.

We look forward to seeing you next week on Wednesday, September 29, at 6:00pm EST!


Nic Brewer
League of Canadian Poets