News & Research

A Lesson in Compassion

Leisa Thompson Photography

Winter 2020
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What does carillon music have to do with social justice, or with medical school? For visiting carillonist Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra, it’s about empathy. In July, Ruiter-Feenstra played two of her compositions — “Our Time: Me Too” and “Belonging: A Carillon Call to Care for All” — to eight members of the U-M Medical School class of 2022 at Lurie Tower on North Campus as part of the Michigan Medicine Humanities Path of Excellence program. The students called the music “visceral” and “jarring.” “That’s what survivorship is like,” said Ruiter-Feenstra. “The trauma is always there ... it’s critical to listen to the voices of survivors,” she said to the students about to do their first shifts of patient care.

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