Spirituality in medical education: a choice or a necessity?

Document Type : Letter to Editor


1 Department of Medical Education, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Spiritual Health Research Center, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran


Increased attention to spirituality in health issues in recent years has led to the recognition of the need to incorporate spirituality in medical education. Accordingly, healthcare providers need educational interventions and related curricula designed and implemented to develop their spiritual competencies. As a result of the perceived need to integrate spirituality into medical education and as a response to this need, spirituality has been addressed by medical schools throughout the world. Nevertheless, few medical schools have integrated spirituality into their curriculum as a core and mandatory course. Students in different disciplines of healthcare are required to pass spirituality courses to understand the role of spirituality in the health of their patients (knowledge), appreciate and favor the inclusion of spirituality in their healthcare and be adequately motivated (attitude), and gain the required skills and abilities to address the spiritual needs of their clients (practice) in a reasonable and satisfactory level. Several studies suggest the integration of spirituality in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs as mandatory courses. So, it seems necessary to integrate spirituality into medical education as required rather than in optional courses.


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