The Medical Humanities Integrated Pathway is designed to help students develop a broader, deeper, and more holistic understanding of health care, healing and illness.
Medical humanities has a long and storied history, but has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years as evidenced by the growing number of programs and publications in the field. The goal of medical humanities programs is, as one author puts it, “to remind us that modern medicine should look beyond its technological fixation and reductionism to reconnect with the conditions of disease and the cultural contexts of illness, as well as the myriad ways people cope with them. It is an antidote to the alleged dehumanization of modern medical education that is always on the verge of failing to foster empathic patient care.” (Brian Dolan; Humanitas: Readings in the Development of the Medical Humanities; p. 2).
The Medical Humanities pathway will consist of three components: 1) a constellation of interconnected humanities and social sciences courses focused on health, illness and medicine; 2) civic engagements related to the medical allied health fields or public health; and 3) a integrated culminating experience.
In their research and course work students will explore the cultural and psychological influences that shape experiences of health, healing and illness as well examine global models and personal narratives of health care. Civic engagements will provide students the opportunity to experience the ways in which conceptual notions of empathy, understanding, care and dignity are instantiated in health care settings.
The courses in this Integrated Pathway have been organized into two categories. Students should take five of the courses from the list below. Courses selected must span both categories and also must include at least one course from the Social Sciences and one from the Humanities.
(H) denotes a Humanities course