Incorporating and Teaching Spirituality into Medical Education: An Overview of the Field and Possible Educational Strategies

  • Giancarlo Lucchetti
  • Lidia Maria Gonçalves
  • Alberto Gorayeb de Carvalho Ferreira
  • Jorge Cecilio DaherJr
  • Alessandra Lamas Granero Lucchetti
Part of the Religion, Spirituality and Health: A Social Scientific Approach book series (RELSPHE, volume 4)


Resulting from the increasing scientific evidence on the correlations between spirituality and health (S/H), important institutions such as the World Health Organization, American College of Physicians and Association of American Medical Colleges have already formally recommended the approach of spirituality in clinical practice. In addition, most US and UK medical schools have already included S/H contents in their curriculum, students and medical teachers believe this issue is important to clinical practice and there are several studies showing promising results on the incorporation of S/H courses or strategies to medical students. This chapter will provide a brief panorama on the S/H field, aiming to bring an update overview of the development of the field, the current scientific evidence, the most common educational strategies and initiatives used, the S/H curriculum goals, objectives and general competences. Future challenges of this field are to create an international consensus including the minimum required competences that a medical student should learn concerning S/H, to increase the number of S/H content worldwide and to provide high-quality and continuing training for teachers and students.


Spirituality Medical education Religion and health Educational models Medical students 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giancarlo Lucchetti
    • 1
  • Lidia Maria Gonçalves
    • 2
  • Alberto Gorayeb de Carvalho Ferreira
    • 3
  • Jorge Cecilio DaherJr
    • 4
    • 5
  • Alessandra Lamas Granero Lucchetti
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.School of MedicineFederal University of Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryInstituto de Medicina Integral Prof. Fernando Figueira (IMIP)RecifeBrazil
  4. 4.Instituto de Medicina do Comportamento Eurípedes BarsanulfoGoiâniaBrazil
  5. 5.Central de Medicamentos de Alto Custo Juarez BarbosaGoiâniaBrazil
  6. 6.Research Group on Medical EducationFederal University of Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil

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