Open to UofT students, faculty and alumni

Event: Articulating the Body: Ekphrasis at the Maude Abbott Museum (Digital Experience) 

Date: May 10. 7 pm-9pm

Sponsors: Poetry Matters of McGill University; Maude Abbott Medical Museum; University of Toronto  Program In Health, Arts and Humanities

Description: In this virtual workshop open only to University of Toronto students, faculty, and alumni, workshop leader Dr. Shane Neilson will take you through several ekphrastic exercises that will be both individual and collaborative. The workshop is deliberately constructed to start slow, at the descriptive level, and it carefully builds in a layered fashion. The body becomes animated and then begins developing links to other bodies and structures. The goal is to refine creative writing techniques. The special aspect to this workshop is that the creative materials used for ekphrasis come from the important legacy of the legendary figure of Dr. Maude Abbott who, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia, “paved the way for women in medicine” and who, based on her work as a pathologist, “laid the foundation for modern heart surgery.” Dr. Rick Fraser, director of the Maude Abbott Medical Museum and an anatomic pathologist himself, will serve as the evening’s “living exhibit.”

Size Limit: 20, so sign up now!

Link for Sign Up:

Art is Patient SEMINARS AT THE AGO-May/June 2022 🗓

Art is Patient seminar series at the AGO


Both people and artwork are a challenge for us to meet. They can be opaque and complex and confusing. People and artworks might present themselves at first with their labels front-and-centre, but what do these really tell us?  As clinicians or as viewers, how do we approach and understand these layered beings as insightfully and respectfully as possible?

Art is Patient introduces learners to a series of steps to encounter art in a gallery as a means to explore how we might encounter people in our clinics and offices. The course recognizes that art and people don’t require specialized background knowledge in order to relate to them in meaningful ways. Rather, they need our mindful, open-minded engagement.

The seminar series turns a group of learners and the Art Gallery of Ontario into a dynamic lab for visual literacy. In each of three linked sessions, we engage with one or two pieces of artwork with openness, curiosity and humility. The art tells us what we need to know about seeing, witnessing and engaging in the context of care. The art gallery allows objects and images to clarify the clinician/patient relationship in ways the clinic can’t, giving us space to question and understand our roles with one another without the usual pressures to know or perform or explain.


  • guided close observation of art
  • group reflection and
  • art-making


  • Foster cognitive skills such as description and interpretation (and better understand the distinction between the two), critical thinking and metacognition
  • Sharpen technical abilities such as close observation, diagnostic acumen, pattern recognition and the perception of non-verbal cues
  • Deepen interpersonal skills with both patients and colleagues, such as collaboration, social awareness and cultural sensitivity
  • Nurture humanistic qualities such as tolerance of ambiguity, creativity and self-reflection
  • Understand the role of embodied witnessing in the practice of medicine.

Seminar leader:

Eva-Marie Stern, RP, MA, Adjunct Professor U of T Dept of Psychiatry, is an art therapist, psychotherapist and educator. She co-founded WRAP (within the Trauma Therapy Program) at Women’s College Hospital in 1998. Her chapter, co-authored with Shelley Wall, “The Visible Curriculum”, which appears in Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education (Oxford U Press, 2018) expands on how looking at and making art can vitalize learning in medicine. She offers art-based medical education initiatives in hospitals, museums and community studios.


3 sessions in sequence:

3:00 to 4:30 on Wednesdays May 25, June 1, and June 8, 2022

In person: Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St West


Open to all U of T Medical Students and Residents on a first-come, first-served basis.
There is no cost for participation but enrolment is limited for a small group experience.

No art experience is necessary.

Tickets are graciously provided by the AGO.

For more information and to register, please contact:

Scars, X Rays, Tattoos and Other Stories of the Body 2.0 🗓

Scars, X Rays, Tattoos and Other Stories of the Body 2.0  

A writing workshop for health care students and professionals

Each practitioner brings a different lens to their patient or client: the word ‘tattoo’ means one thing to the dermatologist and another thing to the radiologist. The surgeon sees a scar, while psychiatrists see scars of a different sort. One listens to the lungs, another the heart. Yet it’s one person. Using poetry and creative writing, we’ll have a chance to express the unique way we each see the person before us. Then come together as a group to see the person again, through all the lenses we bring.

Why 2.0? Last season, in “Scars, Tattoos and Other Stories of the Body” we reflected on the stories our own bodies tell. In 2.0, we’ll look at how we respond as health care professionals to the body of the person before us. It is not necessary to have attended the first one; no experience required.

Learning Objectives:

1.  Learn five rules for writing that can be used to reflect on work, relationships, and life

2.  Increase awareness of the possible impact of your specialization on the person you are seeing.

3.  Explore poetry and writing as practices of self-care

Thursday April 28, 2021  5:30PM-7PM
On Zoom. You will receive a link when you register.

Facilitator: Ronna Bloom
Ronna Bloom is a teacher and author of 6 books of poetry. 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, spiritual leaders, conservationists 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. Her chapbook, Who is your mercy contact? was published in March.

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

Poet in Community, University of Toronto

Open to all U of T Medical Students, Residents, Physicians and Learners from other disciplines. Register here.

This session is sponsored by the program for Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Plagues Plays Course 🗓



Thank you again for your interest in our Reader’s Theatre course. We are planning on hosting the course Monday April 4 and 25th at 600-800pm

We will be reading The Plague, Neil Bartlett’s theatrical adaptation of the novel by The Plague by Camus.

If you are interested please register here:

A link for the on line Readers Theatre will be sent to you!


April 4th 6-7:30pm

We will read Scenes 1-11 of the play together. No preparation is required.

But if you wish to read the Camus text – you can try to pre-read parts 1, 2 & 3

April 25th 6-7:30pm

We will read Scenes 12-18 and the final chorus together. Again, no preparation is needed.

The optional Camus text for this section is Part 4 &5 of The Plague.

We will share other readings and materials with the registration link.

The Bartlett play can be ordered on

The Plague (after La Peste) : Camus, Albert, Bartlett, Neil: Books

For the Camus test – we recommend the Vintage edition translated by Stuart Gilbert. A kindle version is available.

The Plague: Camus, Albert: 9780679720218: Books –

Looking forward to seeing you!




Sent on behalf of Dr Suvendrini Lena: Playwright in Residence, the Program In Health, Arts and Humanities (University of Toronto)



Plague Plays

If you are looking for a place to put your thoughts about the life we are living in medicine now join me for an informal reader’s theatre, called Plague Plays. Reader’s Theatre is a great way to interact with one another, a key text of our times, and themes raised therein. No pre-work is required although options will be provided.

We’ll have the option to read the original version of Camus’s The Plague side by side with a faithful dramatic rendering by the British Playwright Neil Bartlett. We’ll read the dramatic version on zoom together over four sessions.

We’ll try to strike a balance between literary and personal engagement with the text. In chaotic times, texts such as this can help us to find focus, meaning and respite.

We will offer optional writing prompts & exercises for those who are interested.

Materials (please obtain your own copy)

  1. Camus, The Plague. Stuart Gilbert Trans. Vintage International Edition.
  2. Neil Bartlett, The Plague adaptation for the stage. Oberon Books London 2017.

Please let us know if you have difficulty obtaining the materials.

Suvendrini Lena, MD MPH FRCPC Neurology CSCN EEG
Katie van Kampen, MS2, BHSc

Teaching for Transformation Conference 🗓

It’s more than a conference.

Preparing health care practitioners for the humanistic, social-relational, and structural aspects of healthcare is more important now than ever. It requires appropriate knowledge and approaches: ways of seeing, being, and doing.

The Teaching for Transformation: Annual Conference+ focuses not so much on what to teach, and more-so on how to teach, although the what and how are linked.

  • Are you working in interprofessional education, educating for person-centered care, or teaching about social determinants of health?
  • Are you committed to inclusive, reflective, and ethical practice?
  • Are you interested in science and stories of health professions education that prepares more collaborative, compassionate, and ethical practitioners?

This conference+ may be for you. Sessions will focus on pedagogies of discomfort, patient/client and family engagement in education, dialogic approaches to education, transformative versus transforming evaluation, submitted abstracts, and more!

It’s more than a conference.

Join us for rich learning through dialogue in a 3-day conference followed by the “+” — the added features of an ongoing online community, and online resources for your continued use.

Teaching for Transformation: Annual Conference+ is brought to you by the University of Toronto’s Centre for Faculty Development (at Unity Health Toronto) and the Centre for Interprofessional Education (at University Health Network) on March 29, 30, 31, 2022, online only.

Follow this link to learn  more:

and click here to register:

*Discounted rates available if needed*

Mixed Media & Medicine – this month 🗓

In honour of International Women’s Day, Black History Month & National Poetry Month

We invite faculty, students, residents, fellows, one and all to the next gathering of Mixed Media & Medicine at a zoom near you on March 24th:

         What is your favorite piece of writing and why?  

It might be a poem, a passage from a novel, an extract from a memoir, a greeting card (please don’t, lol), a rousing verse/chorus, a piece of graffiti you saw on the subway: whatever it is, please bring a piece something that inspires you on March 24th at 6:30pm.

We are not big on rules but in the interest of respect for all present we do ask the following: 

  1. No long passages: keep them at 2-3 minutes if possible. We would prefer you bring two or three brief ones rather than one long one; that way most people get to share
  2. Be prepared to discuss why this inspires you: when did you first come across it? Who were you with? Why does it speak to you? What do you know about how it was made?
  3. If there is a visual to help the share by all means, we are expert screen-sharers now
  4. No violence, vulgarity or overt sexuality: this is not an invitation to make people uncomfortable, or to air political agendas.. While we are not in the business of censorship, we will immediately shut down & remove inappropriate material and those responsible.
  5. As always, be respectful; all choices and reasons for such are valid and welcome.
  6. If you see a neighbour struggling, jump in and help out

Hi There,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.

When: Mar 24, 2022 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.

Why not register for the rest of the year and add us to your calendar?

See you on a screen sometime soon!

Conor & Jane, MMM

Creating Space 12 Conference Announcement April 21-23 Calgary 🗓

Creating Space 12

Thursday to Saturday, April 21 to 23, 2022

Health Sciences Centre

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Canada’s Annual National Health Humanities Conference

Theme 2022  All Our Communities: Relationships and Relationality in Healthcare

Going hybrid

We have planned substantial in-person activities and will simultaneously provide virtual access to all presentations and workshops for both participants and speakers.  Although unlikely, we are prepared to pivot to a fully virtual conference should world events require.

Keynote Speakers

Jennifer Buchanan, MBA, MTA.  Tune In: Find the Music you Need Amongst all the Noise

Jennifer Buchanan’s company, JB Music Therapy (JBMT), has been instrumental in the implementation of hundreds of music therapy programs throughout Canada since 1991, and has been thrice nominated for the Community Impact Award by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. JBMT is a team of 18 Certified Music Therapists (MTAs) serving all ages in medical, education and community care settings. In her latest book, Wellness, Wellplayed: The Power of a Playlist, Jennifer offers readers an accessible and approachable path to crafting a healing and helpful soundscape all their own.

Joel Carter, MD, Interdisciplinary Artist.  The Art & Sacred Space of Our Stories: The Search for Balance and Connection in an Age of Chaos & Upheaval

Joel Carter is a Canadian Palliative Care Specialist, as well as an author, speaker, storyteller and artist. Carter transitioned to Palliative Care in 2002 after receiving a Fellowship from the Archibald Bush Foundation to pursue interests in End of Life Medicine and Physician Leadership. He completed his fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University. He practices in Minneapolis where he speaks on topics related to quality of life, lessons his patients have shared with him on life’s meaning and purpose, and the integration of creative art processes with healing arts practice. Joel was a featured speaker at the Winnipeg TEDx ‘Forward Think’ June 2017 conference and was named by Minnesota Monthly as Best Doctor 2015 through 2021. His book, Rockpeople – Beyond Chester Creek, which explores life’s depths, the quest for balance, and the broken parts of the human journey, remains a bone fide regional hit.

Events Friday & Saturday

  • Presentations: 22
  • Panels & Workshops: 5
  • Art works displayed: 30
  • Special session: The Editors Are In
  • Musical performance
  • Opportunities to network

Canadian Association for Health Humanities (CAHH) Annual General Meeting

An opportunity for you to influence the growth and direction of our national body.  Hear about what we are doing and planning.  Offer feedback.  Nominate and vote for open positions on our Advisory Council.

Music hands-on small group event Thursday April 21 Evening

This is an in-person workshop for participants with a special interest regarding music in health humanities.  The format requires us to limit the number of spaces.  If you are interested in attending, please email and copy to describe your connection to music and health humanities.  We will then confirm your attendance as space allows!

Conference registration here

  • Fees include membership in CAHH for 2022.
    • Clinician or Academic $250
    • Non-MD Health Professional $150
    • Artists and Learners, $25
    • Fees may be waived if you are in financial straits. Please contact Planning Committee.
  • Conference Proceedings will be distributed to registrants, CAHH members, and published on the CAHH website. It will not be indexed (e.g., Web of Science, Scopus).
  • Application for Credits for professional development through the Canadian College of Family Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is in progress.

Questions?  Email to

The Canadian Association for Health Humanities exists to promote the exchange of ideas and critical dialogue among scholars and practitioners, as well as foster collaborative explorations nationally and internationally. Through meetings, publications and related activities, CAHH seeks to facilitate initiatives as well as interdisciplinary, cross-professional inquiry into research and educational practices relevant to the health humanities.

Creating Space 12 organizing committee

Bernice Fonseka, Graham McCaffrey, Heather Huston, Janet de Groot, Jennifer Leason, Laurie Pereles, Martina Kelly, Mary Wallis, Michael Frishkopf, Oswald Chen, Pam Brett-MacLean, Stephanie Plamondon. Tinu Ruparell, Tom Rosenal

April 6, 2022 – Mentoring and Editing in Poetry 🗓


Event title:

Mentoring and Editing in Poetry: An Hour of Reading and Conversation between Tolu Oloruntoba and Jim Johnstone

Scheduled event date: 4/6/2022

Poets: Tolu Oloruntoba and Jim Johnstone

Host: Shane Neilson, Team Narrative member of  the Health Arts and Humanities Program at the University of Toronto

Eventbrite Link:

Description: Tolu Oloruntoba’s The Junta of Happenstance was awarded the current Governor-General’s Award Winner for Poetry. Jim Johnstone, a noted poet himself, whose Infinity Mirror was just released from Vehicule Press, served as mentor and editor for Oloruntoba at Palimpsest Press. Both poets have experienced periods of illness in their lives. This evening will feature readings from Oloruntoba (who is also a medical doctor) and Johnstone, as well as a conversation held between each other about editorial process and illness. The kind of intimate conversational space created is uncommon in Canadian literature. Time will be preserved for audience questions for two of the most exciting poets currently writing in Canada. 

Sponsors: League of Canadian Poets, Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Health Arts and Humanities Program at the University of Toronto, and the Ontario D/deaf/HoH, Disabled, Mad and Neuroatypical Poetics Festival.




Resilience in Practice – Starting March 12 🗓

A Narrative-based Exploration of Resilience from the CPD

Resilience in Practice – Starting March 12

There are limited spots available for “Resilience in Practice” – a new workshop series designed to explore and understand personal and professional resiliency using narrative-based medicine approaches. This series will take place over five sessions from 10am – 12pm on Saturday mornings from March 12 – July 9, 2022.

Using the work (and wisdom) of five contemporary clinician writers, learners will:

  • Explore clinician memoirs as a foundation for understanding different experiences of resilience.
  • Enhance their understanding of personal and professional resiliency.
  • Deepen their skills as close readers, writers and listeners through practical exercises.

Book excerpts and themes will be used as a springboard for reflections and writing in each session. Come to deepen your learning, enhance your creativity, or find inspiration. Note: The memoirs are a resource to explore these themes and pre-reading is not required.

The group is facilitated by Karen Gold, a narrative medicine facilitator, social worker, and educator.

See the program website for complete details.

Registration link:

If anyone requires registration assistance, they should email:

Continuing Professional Development
Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
500 University Avenue, 6th floor, Toronto, ON, M5G 1V7
416-978-2719 | | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | LinkedIn

Comics for science translation lecture Tuesday Feb 22nd 🗓

Comics for science translation – public talk Tues. Feb. 22, 2022

Interested in how to expand the impact of your scientific findings to a larger audience? Wondering how to communicate your research to policymakers, patients, and beyond?

Drawing from the burgeoning field of graphic medicine, in this seminar, we will discuss the value of comics as a form of knowledge translation and how they may be useful to communicate and support policy and health services research.

Talk: Comics for Science Translation: Policy, research, story

Date: Feb. 22, 2022

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 pm EST

Register here:

Health & Humanities film : The Choreography of Care


Experience this short dance film tribute honouring the dedication and sacrifice of healthcare workers throughout the challenging times of the pandemic and beyond:

To acknowledge the dedication and sacrifice of healthcare staff throughout the pandemic and beyond, Dr. Sarah Kim spearheaded this film project in collaboration with staff from all three sites at Unity Health Toronto, including St. Michael’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Providence Healthcare. The film was made possible by the generous and enthusiastic participation of staff across all three sites and the support of the Joy Fund at Unity Health Toronto. The diversity and strength of our community is clearly reflected in this work and we could not be more proud to stand together as a unified team in our commitment to keeping healthcare alive.

About the film

The Choreography of Care is a collaborative tribute honouring the perseverance, dedication and sacrifice of all frontline workers, with a special focus on healthcare. The film features real-life healthcare professionals performing familiar, everyday routines with novel purpose, to the everyday sounds of their work environment. The Choreography of Care highlights the communities of support within healthcare, the diversity and resilience of the people, putting a human face to a place where many are feeling forgotten. It is an homage to what it means to be a frontline worker in 2021 and beyond.

How the film was made

The Choreography of Care invited all staff at Unity Health Toronto to think about their profession in new ways and collaborate as a team towards a creative goal. The soundtrack for this film was generated using “found” sound in the work environment, sounds heard every day. The intention of this film was to acknowledge the human value of frontline workers, not only in their roles, but also as people. The hope was that the collaborative process of creating this film would increase a sense of connectedness across all three sites, while bringing joy and pride to not only those involved, but to the entire community at Unity Health Toronto and beyond.

Core Team:

Concept by: Christy Stoeten | Sarah Kim, MD
Director/Editor…Sonia Gemmiti
Producer… Sarah Kim, MD | Christy Stoeten
Director of Photography…Katie Cooper
Composer… Danielle Goudge, RN
Choreography… Christy Stoeten | Sarah Kim, MD
1st Assistant Camera…Yuri Markarov
Colourist…Matthew Barnett
Sound Engineer…Mark Rozeluk



Instagram: @sarahkim_md


For Residents and Fellows at the University of Toronto – SPOTS ARE LIMITED REGISTER NOW !


Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Wellness Training

Rodelyn Wisco, MSW, RSW

Format:                                              Biweekly online sessions

Target Audience:                               Post-MD, Residents and Fellows, U of T

Dates:                                                Mar 28, Apr 11, and Apr 25, 2022

Times:                                                Monday evenings, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Number of sessions:                          3

Length of sessions:                            2 hours

Maximum number of participants:     10 (Spots offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Make sure you can commit to ALL 3 sessions before registering)


To Register, contact :

Emotion-Focused Mindfulness (EFM) wellness training cultivates gentle curiosity and self-compassion to better navigate issues and core concerns and develop more genuine ways of relating to oneself, others, and the world. Sessions include talks, meditation, journaling, and sharing, reflecting on and exploring meditation experience. Participation involves a willingness to share one’s own difficult emotions and thoughts with colleagues in a safe group setting.

In EFM, the facilitator introduces and models for participants how to create a safe space for inner work by cultivating self-compassionate awareness. Emotional processing is facilitated by orienting people to attend to their bodies to become aware of, allow, experience, accept, and transform their emotional experience, both in meditation, and afterwards in further exploration with the facilitator. Emotional processing is a combination of attending inwardly to and reflecting on one’s bodily-felt experience and emotions, to address and resolve inner conflicts and core issues, and better navigate life situations. After meditation, participants journal what they recall happened in meditation to better acknowledge and deepen their emotional experience. In addition, participants take turns describing their meditation experience, with the facilitator listening to their whole meditation narrative and then responding to whatever seems most alive and poignant in the moment, and empathically exploring this with them.

Learning goals:                                            

  • Develop a more genuine relationship with self and others, deepening therapeutic presence with patients
  • Cultivate compassion, empathy and responsiveness toward your own and others’ experience
  • Learn calming, grounding and self-soothing techniques
  • Develop own meditation practice at home
  • Integrate empirically-based Emotion-Focused Therapy experiential and emotional processing into meditation and life

Rodelyn Wisco, MSW, RSW, is a Mindfulness and Wellness Clinical Educator for the Health Arts and Humanities Program, University of Toronto.  She works closely with Bill Gayner, MSW, RSW, the developer of Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Therapy (EFMT), was the Principal Investigator for a study determining the feasibility of EFMT with people living with anxiety and depression, and has presented locally and internationally on EFMT.  Rodelyn supports health care professionals with the development of their mindfulness practices and has cultivated her meditation practice for close to thirty years.

Rodelyn is a Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist, in private practice who provides individual Emotion-Focused Therapy and EFMT, Emotion-Focused Family therapy, and EFMT professional training. For 20 years, she worked in multiple health care settings, including family medicine, ambulatory psychiatry, and children’s mental health to support the mental health of children, families, and adults.  She also trained family medicine and psychiatric residents for 10 years first at St. Joseph’s Health Centre and then at Mount Sinai Hospital in communication skills, counselling skills, and behavioural strategies.

Rodelyn Wisco, MSW, RSW