ARTZ-Connect @ PCOM

Building empathy in healthcare

People who are living with dementia— and must rely on a healthcare system that often fails to empathize with their and their care partners’ needs — can feel misunderstood, unheard, and invisible.

In this online, three-week intensive course, first-year medical students at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine have the rare opportunity to learn at the start of their training what eludes too many in the medical profession: the lived experiences around dementia, shared with them by mentors for whom those experiences are uniquely personal

Program Details

Together, PCOM students and their mentors are changing the way healthcare works.

Through ‘ARTZ-Connect @ PCOM,’ students focus on getting to know people living with dementia and care partners — as people and as their mentors, rather than as constellations of symptoms. Mentors are able to guide and share their experiences with students regarding what it means to live with dementia.

The initial vehicle for these relationships is the students’ and mentors’ shared experiences looking at and discussing works of art. Over time, mentors and students together generate ways that healthcare could work differently — more compassionately — for people living with chronic illness.

What to Expect in this Program

Click the arrows to scroll through the blocks

What People Are Saying

  • I learned so much through our Wednesday afternoon talks, not only about my peers and mentors, but introspectively as well. I think the biggest takeaway for me was the interrelationship of empathy and vulnerability. Our time together was short, but I know that Artz will have a lasting impression on my future medical career.

    — Thomas T., 1st year medical student
  • It was a wonderful opportunity to have been part of ARTZ. I really enjoyed it and I hope that more sessions like this can be offered to students in the future.

    –– Parnika K., 1st year medical student
  • I initially entered this program because I have an interest in neurology, and I knew that this would be a very good experience for learning more about how individuals are able to cope with a diagnosis like Alzheimer's disease. Getting to see how the mentors interacted with each other and with my classmates shed a lot of light on the disease and the people who battle it each and every day. If there are any other opportunities to get to work with this program or any similar programs that you know of, I would be very interested in getting involved. It would be a very rewarding way to help serve the community and broaden my horizons on patient-centered care.

    –– Steven W., 1st year medical student
  • I didn’t think we would break much ground in just three weeks but you (and the mentors) proved that wrong. I am so grateful to have had this powerful experience at the beginning of medical school, and I know that I will carry it with me through graduation and into my career.

    –– Megan B., 1st year medical student

Click the arrows to scroll through the testimonials

Program News & Stories

Participate in a Program

Give Us Your Feedback