spirituality and medicine:
curriculum development project


Spirituality in general practice


In general practice attachments, students have a far better opportunity for seeing patients as whole people than they do in more acute settings. There are good opportunities to see the effects on patients of chronic disease or disability , and to explore coping strategies and sources of hope and support with patients.

Although the basis of any general practice attachment will be time spent in surgeries, introductory and feedback sessions give a chance to review learning objectives with students, and a chance to encourage students to adopt a whole-person approach to patients. By working with GP tutors, medical schools can ensure that the same learning objectives are stressed to students during their attachments and role-modelled in clinical consultations.

Edinburgh is an example of a medical school with a particularly developed whole-person GP course, in which students are encouraged to recognise and manage spiritual issues in their patients, and are examined in doing this.


The Spirituality and Medicine Curriculum Development Project is funded by the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.