Medical student plays host to Humanism in Medicine Film Festival

Proceeds from festival to help Edmonton youth

Ross Neitz - 19 January 2016

The curtain will soon open on a film festival for both cinephiles and health-care professionals. Initiated and hosted by Jessica Luc, a second-year medical student, the Humanism in Medicine Film Festival will be held February 1-12 with an aim of shining the spotlight on what really matters in health care-the patient.

"I think often we focus so much on the illness and how to treat it that we lose touch that patients are real people with a lot of problems to deal with in their lives," says Luc. "I hope that through this event we can strive to keep the 'care' in health care."

The festival will feature three films with medical themes to be screened Feb. 1, 9 and 12 at 5:15 p.m. in the Katz Group Centre for Pharmacy and Health Research. Each film will be followed by a discussion from a physician with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry-bringing to light the effects of illness on both patients and the physicians who treat them, as well as lessons health practitioners can learn from their charges.

Tickets for the event are $5 at the door with free popcorn included. All proceeds will go to the Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS), a non-profit organization providing emergency shelter, support programs and guidance to Edmonton youth in need.

"The money raised from the festival [and other class charitable efforts] this year is being pooled to purchase medications for these youth because they often are not covered by health care and many of them are homeless," says Luc. "They see physicians and get prescribed medications, but they don't have the money to purchase them. Physicians and trainees alike have a role to play in the lives of patients as well as the community. This festival, a celebration of what drew us to medicine in the first place, humanism, is a way for us to help with that."

More event details, including the films to be shown, can be found at the Humanism in Medicine Film Festival website.