Understanding healing and learning how to foster it is the overarching goal of the McGill Programs in Whole Person Care. The Programs explore the nature of healing, document its fundamental significance in providing health care services, and develop multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate teaching programs. We aim to identify what caregivers from various disciplines need to be taught in order to promote healing. To this end, we are currently studying and will continue to study the determinants of healing in order to understand this process from multiple perspectives (educational, social, psychological, physiological).
Faculty members with similar interests within the Programs in Whole Person Care provide the critical mass necessary for the development of ideas and projects in this arena. Importantly, the Programs provide a milieu within the university for professors and students interested in our work to meet and learn from each other. We run a film series which heightens public awareness of experiences of suffering as well as healing practices found in communities from around the world. We have also offered seminars and workshops which promote discussion of all matters pertinent to providing comprehensive care to patients. We have hosted the First International Congress on Whole Person Care, October 17-20, 2013, to provide a focus for the development of scholarship on whole person care around the world. This was followed by a similar second conference in 2017, a third one held in 2019, and a fourth conference in 2021. We plan to hold the 5th International Congress on Whole Person Care in 2023.
Through these activities, combined with our research work, the Programs act as a catalyst attracting scholars from outside our university to collaborate with us.