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Liberal arts important for clinicians

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2010 - Autumn


The article “Keeping Body and Soul Together” [Yale Medicine, Spring 2010] resonated with my wife and me. We have felt very strongly that practitioners of the medical arts should have broad experience with the liberal arts while in college. Even though most will have majored in science while in college because of the prerequisites of nursing school or medical school entrance, they need the experiences that will enable them to understand and communicate with their patients beyond the physical ailment. The experiences in the liberal arts will also allow them to enjoy life outside of their profession. For this reason, over 15 years ago we established the Kenneth L. and Lorraine M. Harkavy Scholarship at my alma mater, the University of Virginia, which recognizes a student who, while planning a career in health care, can describe the value of a liberal arts education in his/her life and future career. We strongly encourage all teachers to emphasize the value of a liberal arts education.

Kenneth L. Harkavy, M.D. ’71, HS ’73, M.B.A.
Lorraine M. Harkavy
Potomac, Md.