Impact of the Histartmed Villa Clara Chair on the ninth anniversary of its creation

EDUMECENTRO 2023;15:e2686



Impact of the Histartmed Villa Clara Chair on the ninth anniversary of its creation

Impacto de la Cátedra Histartmed Villa Clara en el noveno aniversario de su creación

Idelsy Morales Jiménez1*
José Armando Vázquez Pérez1
Marisol Sánchez Gutiérrez1
Madelaydis Díaz Hernández1


1 University of Medical Sciences of Villa Clara. History Department. Villa Clara. Cuba.


* Corresponding author. Email:




With the objective of raising the cultural heritage of students and professionals, the scientific-cultural project Histartmed was born at the University of Medical Sciences of Havana in 2005, today the Research Center on History, Art and Medicine. As a result of the participation of a group of professionals and students from the Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences in the VIII Integrative Colloquium, the Histartmed Villa Clara honorary chair emerged, founded on May 27, 2014 by rectoral resolution of the same year. On the ninth anniversary of its creation, the authors propose to expose the impact that it has had in the teaching, extension and research fields of the university.

DeCS: history; art; Medicine; teaching; investigation; medical education.


Con el objetivo de elevar el acervo cultural de estudiantes y profesionales nació en la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de La Habana el proyecto científico-cultural Histartmed en el año 2005, hoy Centro de investigación sobre Historia, Arte y Medicina. A raíz de la participación de un grupo de profesionales y estudiantes de la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara en el VIII Coloquio Integrador, surgió la cátedra honorífica Histartmed Villa Clara, fundada el 27 de mayo de 2014 por resolución rectoral del propio año. En el noveno aniversario de su creación, los autores se proponen exponer el impacto que esta ha tenido en el ámbito docente, extensionista e investigativo de la universidad.

DeCS: historia; arte; Medicina; enseñanza; investigación; educación médica.



Received: 05/06/2023
Approved: 05/08/2023



Health professionals can take universal and Cuban culture to various places and become valuable cultural promoters because: "Medicine is a science full of uncertainty and an art full of possibilities."(1) This phrase by Sir William Osler, It served as a paradigm in the emergence of the Histartmed project, today the Center for Studies on History, Art and Medicine of the University of Medical Sciences of Havana.

Histartmed is a scientific-cultural project whose objective is to increase the cultural heritage of students and professionals in the medical sciences based on the link between history and art with Medicine. Its name derives from the union of these three branches of knowledge: Hist, of history; art, de arte y med, de Medicina and has three symbolic images that identify it: the golden mask of Tutankhamen, the "Portrait of Doctor Gachet" by Vincent Van Gogh and "The Anatomy Lesson of Professor Tulp" by Rembrandt.(2)

This project was created in 2005 by the Doctor of Medical Sciences Néstor Santiago Rodríguez Hernández, tenured professor, II Degree specialist in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, born leader, charismatic guide, capable man who faced death with the courage of the greats. and he was eternalized in his marvelous Histartmed project, he demonstrated that it is possible to be both a brilliant scientist and a man of vast culture.(2)

The project became the Center for Integrative Studies on History, Art and Medicine of the University of Medical Sciences of Havana, inaugurated on February 20, 2012, it is an institution that contributes to the comprehensive training of medical science students and to the continued education of health professionals, having as a premise the phrase of the doctor Letamendi: "Who only knows Medicine, not even Medicine knows". He bases his work on the ample opportunities to generate new individual and collective knowledge by linking history and art with Medicine, through university extension work, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, and research.(3)

In February 2014, a group of professors and students from the University of Medical Sciences of Villa Clara attended the VIII Integrative Colloquium of History, Art and Medicine and later, it was decided to create the chair.

Histartmed Villa Clara defined the objective of increasing the cultural heritage of students and health professionals and planned to develop its I Integrative Colloquium, which met on May 15, 2015. 76 papers were registered, of which 58 were presented for 76, 3 %; these works were characterized by their scientific rigor and responded to novel themes on the integration of history and art with Medicine, this allowed 7 prizes to be awarded and 8 to be selected for the national event.(4)

Said result was creating an incentive so that the professors of History of Cuba and the direction of educational work and university extension (founders of the project in the territory), analyzed in methodological and collective meetings of different years of the Medicine career, the possibility of link the contents of the programs with aspects of art and medicine. Thus, Histartmed was introduced in the teaching area, adding to the work of the chair, the promotion and encouragement to develop historical and pedagogical research related to the subject in question, as well as extension and community work actions with the holding of clubs, talks, contests and night spaces with great acceptance by the community, both university and local, which was extended to the other faculties of the center, as well as to other territories of the province and the central region of the country, among which The Faculty of Medicine of Sagua la Grande and the Universities of Medical Sciences of Cienfuegos and Sancti Spíritus stood out.

The grassroots events are convened in each school year and take place every two years, paying tribute to the international event where finalists compete for the Histartmed awards; They have become a true festival of culture with the presentation of relevant works and the teaching of improvement courses with a greater number of participants.(5)

Other cultural spaces were developed such as the Night University with the themes: "Céspedes in history, art and medicine" and "Camilo, gentleman of the vanguard", there students and workers from the center shared a space for reflection and debate about these heroes of history from the vision of Histartmed.

The encounter with history during the student bastion in November 2019 was also highlighted, in which a professional judge from the Popular Provincial Court of Villa Clara gave the conference "In the footsteps of Fidel", in the same room where the first conference took place. self-defense of Fidel Castro, accused of participating in a student riot in the city of Cienfuegos, which has been classified by experts as the prelude to the trial for the assault on the Moncada Barracks, an activity that contributed to the formation of values among the doctors in training.

Histartmed Villa Clara hosted the IV National Workshop of Chairs, culminating in an extensive tour of historical places in the city of Santa Clara where women and men who love, doctors, historians and promoters of culture, who carry tango in their soul and the palm, were protagonists of the change of flowers in the Plaza de la Revolución "Ernesto Che Guevara". It was a very emotional moment for those who for the first time had the honor of placing the flower in the niches of the fallen fighters alongside Che in the Bolivian guerrilla. Words were not capable of transmitting such internal strength, which is why someone with tears in their eyes demanded to place the flower on Tania, the guerrilla fighter because she owes her name to her. Others dignified a living and present Che, for that reason; Havanans, Guantanamo, Santiago and Villa Clara came to the Plaza del Che, to a city like Santa Clara that dignifies the Cuban.(6)

From its foundation to date, the Chair has developed a total of 19 provincial and territorial training courses and 10 national and international ones, it has presented 63 papers in national and international colloquiums, of which 11 have obtained different awards, sample of the value of the results achieved.

In times of COVID-19, the work of the chair was projected virtually, with the insertion in the activities designed by the National Center for Studies on History, Art and Medicine, spaces were also created in the territory, among which were highlighted the participation of students and professionals in the contest "A challenge to COVID-19 through artistic creation": through narrative, poetry, drawing, photography, testimony and monologue, students and professionals recounted its role in confronting the pandemic.

Subsequently, Histartmed Villa Clara resumed its work and developed the IV Integrative Colloquium together with the rest of the honorary chairs of the Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences, in 2022. After defining the research line of the chair focused on the environment and climate change, the research project entitled "Strategy to insert the environment, history, art and Medicine in the training of the Health professional" was structured and as part of its actions a postgraduate course entitled "History, art and science behind the initials of Histartmed". In the celebrations for the ninth anniversary, a Scientific Day was held in greeting to World Environment Day in June 2023.

In this way, the impact that the Histartmed chair has had on the curricular, investigative and extension dimension of the Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences has been summarized.



1. Álvarez Sintes R. Temas de Medicina General Integral. Volumen I Salud y Medicina. [Internet]. 2001. [citado 28/04/2023]:[aprox. 394 p.]. Disponible en:

2. Centro de estudios Histartmed. Boletín especial X Aniversario de los Coloquios HISTARTMED. Un homenaje a sus fundadores y a todos sus seguidores. La Habana; 2012. [citado 28/04/2023]. Disponible en:ín-HISTARTMED-Junio -2012.pdf

3. Centro de estudios Histartmed. Boletín Histartmed, edición especial. La Habana; 2012. [citado 28/04/2023]. Disponible en:ín -HISTARTMED-Junio-2012.pdf

4. Coloquio Multidisciplinario sobre Historia, Arte y Medicina. Histartmed 2005. Disponible en:

5. HISTARTMED 2016. Cencomed. Disponible en: 2016

6. Centro de estudios Histartmed. Boletín Histartmed. La Habana; 2020. [citado 28/04/2023]. Disponible en:ín-Villaclara.pdf



Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest. Contribution of the authors



Conceptualization and research:

Idelsy Morales Jiménez, José Armando Vázquez Pérez, Marisol Sánchez Gutiérrez and Madelaydis Díaz Hernández
Writing, review and editing of the article: Idelsy Morales Jiménez, José Armando Vázquez Pérez, Marisol Sánchez Gutiérrez and Madelaydis Díaz Hernández

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