Medical Humanities News

Student Talent Shines through New Magazine

Nov. 1, 2013

Five Baylor students studying different concentrations came together to create a way to inform their fellow students and faculty members about the growing Medical Humanities Program at Baylor University.

Alumnas Maxcey Kite and Molly Dunn worked alongside with Baylor students Marissa Marak, Ashtyn Mathews, and Courtney Ouellette to create "MH Magazine", a publication produced in Spring 2013 that features articles about the Medical Humanities Program, its faculty, and its students.

The main goal of the publication is to increase the understanding, awareness, and respect of the Medical Humanities Program within Baylor itself. Junior journalism major Courtney Ouellette, who worked as co-creator, editor, designer, and writer for the magazine, said the field itself is misunderstood by those that are not part of the medical humanities field.

"Those in the field feel as though people from the medical field look down on them because they don't major in something that deals solely in science courses," she said. "Based on my experience, these students are more prepared for medical school because they also have knowledge of how to sit with patients and their families."

Professional writing senior Ashtyn Mathews, who worked as a writer on the team, agreed with Ouellette's opinion.

"I think that the medical humanities major deserves far more recognition and praise for their incredible mission," she said. "Medicine needs more humanitarian elements; that's what this awesome major teaches [its] students."

When co-creators Maxcey and Ouellette approached the assistant director of the program, Dr Lauren Barron, with their idea about the publication, the proposal was met with great excitement.

"She was so grateful and passionate that it made us feel passionate about promoting the program," Ouellette said.

Maxcey White, an alumna of the university and the other co-creator, editor, designer, and writer of "MH Magazine", echoed Ouellette's statement.

"Dr. Barron was so enthusiastic about the project and willing to help out in whatever way she could," she said. "Her support was invaluable during the process."

When approaching a way to define the medical humanities during the publication's creation, Ouellette said the team decided the field would best be explained through the stories created from the people they interviewed instead of a textbook definition.

"We started the process by coming up with ideas for stories that would really highlight what medical humanities is all about," she said.

A few of the articles inside the publication include an article about the DeBakey Foundation providing the program with a large donation; a spotlight section on current students and alumni; a feature about a few of the courses offered by the program; an article about a medical mission trip to El Salvador; and a piece about Baylor's Medical Ethics Discussion Society (B.U. M.E.D.S.).

Overall, the team member's experience while working on the publication was very positive.

"The experience was great," said Ouellette. "I loved meeting so many interesting people who really want to make a difference in peoples' lives. The passion and motivation I entered while doing research and writing stories was staggering. I can definitely see why students enjoy it."

Kite agreed with Ouellette and said her time working with the program was positive because of the faculty and students.

"Working on the MH Magazine has been such a joy," she said. "This is an incredible program full of truly amazing people. I hope that the work we have put into this magazine will succeed in showcasing medical humanities at Baylor for what it is - a program of both academic prestige and Christian compassion."

by Maegan Rocio