About The Department of Medical Humanities

The Mission of the Department of Medical Humanities is to ensure critical dialog about health, health care and the human condition. 

The Department of Medical Humanities contributes insights from the humanities to the teaching, research, and service endeavors of the School of Medicine. In this regard, the Department provides students, residents, and faculty with knowledge of the humanities, encourages scholarly activity at the interface of medicine and the humanities, and provides multidisciplinary service to the School, the University, and the community.

The Department of Medical Humanities offers a curriculum designed to provide students with a core knowledge in the humanities, emphasizing application of the content and methodologies of humanities disciplines to the practice of medicine. Department faculty provide educational experiences for undergraduate medical students during Years 1 and 2. During Year 3, the Department delivers a two-week curricular clerkship, entitled "The Physician-Patient Relationship," as well as multiple integrated modules and learning experiences that form part of the clinical clerkships. During Year 4, a second two-week curricular clerkship is delivered, entitled "Society, Law and Health Care: The Physician's Role." Additionally, numerous electives are offered during Years 3 and 4 for students enrolled in the M.D. and the M.D./J.D. Dual Degree programs. The Department also develops and delivers educational experiences at the graduate, postgraduate, and continuing education levels. In fulfilling its teaching mission, the Department complements the expertise of a strong interdisciplinary faculty with active involvement of a diverse panel of cross-appointed and adjunct faculty. 

The Department of Medical Humanities evidences a significant and multifaceted contribution to research within the University and the School of Medicine through the scholarly activities of its faculty, the involvement with and sponsorship of academic journals and monographs, the publication of a Medical Humanities book series, and the direction and operation of the Pearson Museum. Department faculty conduct individual and collaborative research at the interface of medicine and the humanities, with emphasis in the areas of ethics, health policy, medical history, medical jurisprudence, philosophy, psychosocial care, and religious studies. Through scholarly publications in peer-reviewed journals, books, reports, edited volumes, and other compendia, these achievements are documented. Research publications are complemented by faculty presentations at meetings of professional societies and organizations, at regional, national, and international conferences, and through guest lectures and visiting professorships at other academic institutions. 

The Department of Medical Humanities encourages the active involvement of its faculty in service to the University and the community. Department faculty regularly participate in the activities of University and School of Medicine committees. Faculty members further participate, through membership and positions of leadership and governance, in the activities of international, national, and regional societies and organizations that focus on issues congruent with departmental teaching and research. Department faculty also are committed to addressing important local community needs through application of individual talents and expertise.