Medical Humanities Summer Course
Italian Perspectives

"The spirit of Humanities is the greatest single gift in education."
William Osler, The Old Humanities and the New Science, 1919.

Fondazione Lanza (Center of Advanced Studies in Ethics, Padua - Italy), in collaboration with the Chair of History of Medicine at the University of Padua and the Chair of Medical Humanities at the Marmara University in Istanbul, is pleased to announce the first edition of the Summer Course on Medical Humanities, that will take place in Padua and Venice from Sunday 11 to Friday 16, September 2016.

Course aims and objectives: Offer insights into Medical Humanities and their relevance in Medicine and Arts. Visit monuments, museums, etc., in order to make explicit the ethical values represented by them.

Contents: Medical Humanities and Bioethics; Charity and its Artistic Interpretations; Medical History and Medical Humanities; Painting, Literature, Sculpture, Architecture, Cinema and Medicine; Arts, Medicine and Psychiatry.

At the end of the Course an Attendance Certificate will be issued.

Course fee: Euro 650,00 (payable until August 10, 2016). It includes tuition, lectures, guided tours, local transfers, teaching materials, coffee-breaks and a dinner (accommodation, travel, and meal expenses are not included).

Scientific Committee: Prof. Luciana Caenazzo (University of Padua), Prof. Sefik Görkey (Marmara University of Istanbul), Prof. Renzo Pegoraro (Fondazione Lanza), Prof. Mario Picozzi (University of Insubria), Prof. Fabio Zampieri (University of Padua).

Direction: Prof. Renzo Pegoraro

Secretariat: Dr. Lucia Mariani, Fondazione Lanza, via Dante, 55 - 35139 Padova - Tel./Fax: ++39.0498756788 - email:

Deadlines: Application Form until 20 July 2016 - Payment: until 10 August 2016

Why a Course on Medical Humanities?
We believe that at a time when medicine demonstrates an increasing and almost exclusive reliance on scientific and technological progress, it is necessary to restore and promote the important relationship that always existed between medicine and the arts. In our course, we propose an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to analyze and interpret the human experience of illness, disability, health care, and medical intervention in order to try to return health care practice back to its original purpose: 'to be a medicine for the person'.

Italian and international experts in painting, sculpture, literature, cinema, forensic science, psychiatry, bioethics, and history of medicine will offer their qualified observations, proposing a 'humanistic' reflection on illness, medicine, the role of physicians and nurses. All these contributions will help us to overcome a reductive conception of treatment practices that explain illness only according to bio-molecular reactions. The humanities have always offered a fundamental contribution to the aspiration of gaining a more complete picture of illness, improving medical care and our assistance to the sick.

Why in Padua?
Henry Sigerist, historian of medicine, describes Padua as the birthplace of modern medicine. Here, Giovanni Battista De Monte (1489-1551), teaching for the first time, medicine at the bedside, developed clinical medicine; Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) taught anatomy at the University of Padua; William Harvey had his first ideas on blood circulation in Padua, and Gabriele Falloppio (1523-1562) discovered here the uterine tubes. In Padua, Hieronymus Fabrici d'Acquapendente (1533-1619) and Giovan Battista Morgagni (1682-1771) wrote their masterpieces on pathological anatomy; Workplace Medicine also saw its beginning in Padua thanks to Bernardino Ramazzini (1633-1714). Most notably, at the same University, Galileo Galile i taught for 18 years, developing the scientific method.

Concurrently, as William Shakespeare wrote in The Taming of the Shrew , Padua was also the “Nursery of Arts”. In fact, especially from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, the city expressed an impressive and extraordinary artistic culture thanks to artists as Giotto, Donatello, Titian, among others.

Finally, Padua, the city of Saint Anthony, is a place where a religious feeling strongly oriented towards charity is deeply rooted. This is why the history of Padua is strictly linked to the history of its hospitals, the first of which, the Saint Francis Hospital, was established in 1414.

These are some of the reasons that led the Fondazione Lanza to choose to speak of Medical Humanities from a place where medicine, art and religion were able to find an extraordinary synthesis. Then, with the help of our major experts, we will actualize these teachings trying to apply them in an effort to humanize modern medicine.

"The spirit of Humanities is the greatest single gift in education."
William Osler, The Old Humanities and the New Science, 1919.