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The Medical Humanities Applied Minor 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 applied minor 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.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.