About Medical Humanities

Medical Humanities is an interdisciplinary, humanistic and cultural study of illness, health, health care, and the body. In contrast to the medical sciences, the medical humanities -- which include bioethics, narrative medicine, history of medicine, culture studies, science and technology studies, medical anthropology, philosophy, dance, music, literature, film, as well as visual and performing arts -- focus more on meaning making than measurement. Students explore the boundaries between sickness and health and learn to see life through a patient’s eyes. Topics include: the authority of the physician, the role of the hospital, the doctor-patient relationship, the social dimensions of racial and gender differences, and changing conceptions of disease and healing. The minor may be combined with any major and of particular interest to those students planning to attend medical school, nursing school, pharmacy school and public health school as well as students in the humanities seeking to pursue graduate work in the field of medical humanities.