Volume 53, Issue 3, March 2024

Humanities in general practice medicine

doi: 10.31128/AJGP-03-24-1234e   |    Download article
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In this issue of the AJGP, we launch a series of papers that explore aspects of the role of the humanities in medicine, and specifically in general practice. We take a very broad perspective on this inherently broad topic, and we take this opportunity to call for papers; if you have an interest in this topic and would like to contribute, please do so. Although we prefer papers that fit within the existing AJGP formats (, we are also open to other formats (eg poems, pictures).

Of course, some aspects of the humanities are already established within many contemporary medical school curriculums. Courses on ethics and professionalism would fit here, for example. Other courses tap into aspects of the social sciences, and many aspects of public health medicine are founded within a social construct that is heavily reliant upon an appreciation of the humanities.Should there be more room for the humanities within medical school curriculums, and what about within postgraduate training programs, including general practice training? What is the breadth of humanities content that might make sense? How much should be elective and how much should be required?

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ curriculum and syllabus for Australian general practice ( includes substantial humanities content (eg ethics and professionalism), and much is also implicit within several units. So, what about other aspects of the humanities? What about literature, art, anthropology and culture? So much of what we do as general practitioners is context-dependent, cultural and hence engaged with the broad reach of humanities.

We open this series with an engaging paper from Professor Richard Hays.1 We urge you to find a quiet moment to read this, think about the issues raised, and – if you are minded – contribute to this series.

The Australian Journal of General Practice

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  1. Hays R. The relevance of medical history to current practice. Aust J Gen Pract 2024;53(3):157–60. Search PubMed

EditorialGeneral practiceHumanities

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