Medical humanities not only help to understand the real nature of medicine and health, but also enable health professionals to treat their patients with respect and dignity and to provide more empathetic care. In this sense, they have become an essential tool to develop so-called transversal skills in the education environment.

The Esteve Foundation organized an international workshop, in collaboration with the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and the Università di Siena, in which 24 experts from different Spanish and Italian medical communities analysed the role of medical humanities in education of the 21st century. Coordinated by Josep-Eladi Baños, from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and Carlo Orefice, from the Università di Siena, this private meeting took place on 8 September 2017 in Tuscany.

The role of arts, such as music, literature and cinema, and the philosophy and history of medical studies were some of the topics discussed at the meeting, which had the following programme:

1. Why we are here? Rethinking Medical Humanities through the Paradigm of Complexity
Carlo Orefice
Università di Siena

2. Reflective writing and medical humanities: some pedagogical reflections
Lucia Zannini
Università di Milano

3. Is Music useful for the Brain? Updates from research to practice and contrary
Claudia Vinciguerra
Università di Siena

4. The invention of truth. Doctors and patients from the antiquity until today
Maria Malatesta
Università di Bologna

5. The art of observation, from visual artworks to medical diagnosis: initial experience at Sapienza University of Rome
Rosemarie Heyn
Sapienza Università di Roma

6. How could humanities contribute to the training of physicians
Josep-E Baños
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

7. Literature texts as a teaching tool in medical students
Marta Torrens
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

8. Teachers and writers: some thoughts from the both sides
Amàlia Lafuente
Universitat de Barcelona

9. Using popular movies in teaching: the case of pharmacology
Magí Farré
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

10. The experience of the History of medicine at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Albert Presas i Puig
Universitat Pompeu Fabra