We define the term "medical humanities" broadly to include an interdisciplinary field of humanities (literature, philosophy, ethics, history and religion), social science (anthropology, cultural studies, psychology, sociology), and the arts (literature, theater, film, and visual arts) and their application to medical education and practice.
The humanities and arts provide insight into the human condition, suffering, personhood, our responsibility to each other, and offer a historical perspective on medical practice. Attention to literature and the arts helps to develop and nurture skills of observation, analysis, empathy, and self-reflection -- skills that are essential for humane medical care.
[11/02/2012] Podcast with comments from Dr. Barron on the various aspects of medical humanities and benefits of the program. It is more than treating illnesses and diseases, but "how" to work and understand people. (09:56 )
The Medical Humanities Program at Baylor University is one of a handful of programs of its kind in the country. Our mission, in keeping with the vision of Pro Futuris, is to provide a truly transformational education for students seeking careers in healthcare and the medical arts under the guidance of faculty who are committed to compelling scholarship and dedicated to service.
Our program is breaking ground in a creative way, redefining how undergraduate students who aspire to careers in healthcare can be educated and equipped-not only with an outstanding foundation in the sciences, but also with a rich exposure to the humanities. It is a truly interdisciplinary program, consisting of courses taught by faculty from many other departments, including English, religion, philosophy, history, sociology and psychology and working together with faculty not only from the College of Arts and Sciences, but also from the Honors College.
A major in medical humanities is intended primarily for undergraduate students entering the field of healthcare. We have many pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-physician assistant and nursing students and students who are pursuing careers in allied health fields such as pharmacy, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Our students are also pursue careers in health education, public health, community health and healthcare administration.
Our graduates are employed by hospitals and clinics of all kinds, in fields ranging from primary care to , any medical or surgical specialty or subspecialty you can imagine-and in any clinical area, such as physical or occupational therapy departments, radiology departments, emergency rooms-the possibilities are endless. You will also find our graduates in pharmacies and other ancillary medical services, and serving as health educators or working in public health departments.
"I have learned that medicine is much more than just curing someone's disease. As healers, we are called to look not only at the physical symptoms but also the spiritual and emotional pain as well." -- Trisha Kelley.
"Fast forward almost four years later and I've realized that medicine will change my life and not just the lives of my patients. I've realized that medicine has chosen me more than I have chosen medicine." -- Huong Nguyen.
"Many schools can teach good science, but few challenge students to acknowledge the other, crucial facets of medicine." -- Jaden Schupp.
"I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be immersed in these conversations from the beginning of my premed years." -- Ivy Stejikal.
"I have learned that studying Medical Humanities at Baylor is so much more - bioethics, literature, and philosophy, for example, not to mention many shadowing and clinical opportunities." -- Hillary Villarreal.