Medical Humanities

The Medical Humanities provide an interdisciplinary and interprofessional approach to investigating and understanding the profound effects of illness and disease on patients, health professionals, and the social worlds in which they live and work. In contrast to the medical sciences, the medical humanities - which include narrative medicine, history of medicine, culture studies, science and technology studies, medical anthropology, ethics, economics, philosophy and the arts (literature, film, visual art) - focus more on meaning making than measurement.

In 2007, Baylor University was the first university in the United States to offer a bachelor’s degree in the field of medical humanities. Our program remains one of only a few such programs in the country and has enjoyed tremendous growth. Our mission is to provide a truly transformational education for Baylor students seeking careers in healthcare under the guidance of faculty who are dedicated to compelling scholarship, clinical excellence and devotion to service.

The Medical Humanities Program is redefining how undergraduate students preparing for 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. Our students have the unique opportunity to reflect on the deepest meanings of health and healing, to consider the ethical and spiritual issues they will encounter as healthcare professionals, and to reflect on the sacred nature of medicine as a vocation.

Check Out Dr. Hoy's Blog, Crossroads
This blog is an attempt to consider the integration of loss with life and faith--sometimes focusing on one of these approaches or another. More often, loss, life, and faith are integrated here because they are integrated in the day-to-day of human existence.

The Faith Community and the SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution
An original paper by Dr. Jeff Levin published in the Journal of Religion and Health, June 2, 2020.

Religion and Mental Health in the Age of COVID-19
Dr. Jeff Levin considers how the institutional and spiritual resources of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism can contribute to better mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Certainty in the Midst of Uncertainty: A Conversation About Moving Forward in the Face of Loss and Anxiety
Temple Beth El of South Orange County, O’Connor Mortuary, and Vitas Healthcare Presents
Certainty in the Midst of Uncertainty: A Conversation About Moving Forward in the Face of Loss and Anxiety
With Dr. Bill Hoy, Cantor Fran Chalin, Rabbi K’vod Wieder, and Becky Lomaka

Observations by Dr. Michael Attas
In an article in the Waco-Tribune Herald, Dr. Attas writes about mixing politicians and pandemics.

Dr. Hoy comments in this article featured on the Council on Foreign Relations website
"How the World Has Learned to Grieve in a Pandemic" Pandemic restrictions have meant that many people have died or grieved alone.

New book by Dr. Jeff Levin!
In his new book, "Religion and Medicine A History of the Encounter Between Humanity's Two Greatest Institutions", Dr. Jeff Levin details the history of religion and medicine.

Poverty in Pandemic
Dr. Hoy's latest post from his blog "Crossroads Loss.Life.Faith"

Forgetting the Past
Medical Humanities professor, Dr. Bill Hoy, has created a new blog called "Crossroads. Read his submission "Forgetting the Past" here.

Health Care in Waco Joins Shift to Online
Baylor professors, Dr. Bill Hoy (Medical Humanities) and Dr. Helen Harris (Social Work) donate tablets for patients at Providence Hospice.

Public Health Crises-Such as COVID-19-May Lead to Flare-Ups of Dangerous Religious Sentiments, including "Scapegoating"
Dr. Jeff Levin, University Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, Professor of Medical Humanities, and Director of the Program on Religion and Population Health at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor, speaks about current issues in this Q&A.

Unintended consequences of COVID-19
Our own Dr. Bill Hoy and Dr. Helen Harris from the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work have written an article about the unintended consequences of COVID-19.

The 2020 DeBakey Scholarship Application is open!
Applications are due by 5:00 PM on Monday, March 16th.

Student Spotlight: Priscilla Rosario
2019 Medical Humanities graduate, Priscilla Rosario answers questions in the Baylor ITS & Libraries Magazine.

Fall 2019 Newsletter is here
Read about all the exciting things that have been going on in Medical Humanities this semester.

Benefactors Day 2019 featuring Dr. Lesa Scholl
The Armstrong Browning Library, along with the Medical Humanities Program at Baylor University, proudly welcomed Dr. Lesa Scholl from the University of Adelaide in Australia as its Benefactor's Day lecturer for 2019.

Dr. Lauren Barron Keynote Speaker at the Mayo Clinic's Humanities in Medicine Symposium
Lauren Barron, M.D., Director of the Medical Humanities Program at Baylor University, will be discussing the importance of the human presence as the center focus of healthcare and how the humanities have shaped her education and medical practice.

The Medical Humanities Program at Baylor University to welcome Dr. David Fleeger, current president of the Texas Medical Association on Monday, October 21st
Dr. Fleeger is a board-certified colon and rectal surgeon and managing partner of his nine-member group practice in Austin, TX. One of his priorities is to remove barriers between physicians and the patients who need their care.

Medical Songstress
Three chords and the truth. That’s a theme that Dr. Lauren Barron references when she’s talking about music as well, especially the music that she enjoys singing.

#BaylorLights Profile: Lauren Gibbs
"I have a genetic disease called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Two parents have to be carriers, and there's a one-in-four chance that they can pass it down. You get it at birth, but my parents noticed I wasn't hitting the motor milestones that everyone else was hitting at my age. They took me to the doctor and I had a genetic test and everything, and they found out that I had it.

Nonprofit Started by Baylor Alumna Wins International Humanitarian Award
The nonprofit organization Mothers on the Move, founded by Arts & Sciences alumna Jolene Damoiseaux (BS '14), has won the Albert Schweitzer Prize Audience Award from the Nederlands Albert Schweitzer Fund, which provides money for local health projects in Africa. Damoiseaux started Mothers on the Move as a Baylor senior to provide expectant mothers in Western Kenya with free transportation to a health center to safely give birth.

New Baylor Certificate Program Aims to Increase Spanish Proficiency Among Future Healthcare Professionals
The new Certificate in Spanish for Healthcare Professions program in the Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences gives future healthcare professionals the opportunity to learn medical Spanish and become more familiar with Hispanic culture. This knowledge will allow them to better communicate and empathize with the Hispanic patients they will serve.

Medical Humanities Program prepares future healthcare professionals
Baccalaureate programs in medical humanities are rapidly growing in popularity across the United States. With 613 currently enrolled students, the Medical Humanities program at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is one of the largest undergraduate degree programs of its kind in the nation.

Addison Tenorio accepted into PhD. program at SLU


Prescription for Compassion
Baylor partners with Waco's Family Health Center to address health concerns for area residents.

Baylor Arts & Sciences Magazine, Spring 2017
The Spring 2017 issue of Baylor Arts & Sciences magazine provides a comprehensive look at Baylor's award-winning journalism, public relations and new media program. Other articles include a feature on A&S faculty and staff members who use alternative means of commuting to campus, a look at the growing popularity of standing desks on campus, and updates on former A&S deans John Belew, William Cooper and Wallace Daniel.

Baylor announces Hillis Scholars for 2016-2017
The Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences has announced a group of 15 students named to the William Hillis Scholars in Biomedical Sciences Program for 2016-2017.

Married to Medical School and Each Other
We all know that making it through medical school is one of life’s greatest challenges, but is it worth the long hours and sleepless nights? And are medical students able to maintain some semblance of a social life? Can they even, pray tell, be successful and –– married? To find answers to these and other questions, we turned to one of Baylor’s best and brightest couples, who are both attending Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston.

Giving Back
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” Those immortal words of Charles Dickens are being taken to heart by Baylor Arts & Sciences students as they give thousands of hours of service to others each year.

Dr. Eric Cassell Receives 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Humanities from Baylor’s Medical Humanities Program
Dr. Eric Cassell, physician, clinical professor, and author is the most recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Humanities, presented by Baylor University’s Medical Humanities Program.

Healing the Least of These
Enhanced by a new partnership with Baylor College of Medicine, faculty and students at Baylor University are helping to fight tropical diseases that endanger millions of the world's poor.

Fall 2014 MH Heartbeat
Our newsletter, updated each semester...

Baylor Arts & Sciences magazine Fall 2014
The fall 2014 issue of Baylor Arts & Sciences, the official magazine of the College of Arts & Sciences, is available online. It features articles including "Moving Picture," the story of a Baylor alumnus who traveled across Europe searching for the young war refugee included in a news photo; a look at the work Baylor environmental scientists are doing to make the world a better place; and a first person account of the first year living in Baylor's Hallie Earle Hall.

Destination: El Salvador
Dr. Lauren Barron, joined by Dr. Elaine Lambert and Dr. Ron Wilson, looks forward to taking a team of students to El Salvador on a medical mission trip organized by the Medical Humanities Program

Faith and Healthcare Merge at the 15th Annual Medical Humanities Retreat
The Medical Humanities Retreat looks at the study of medicine from a holistic viewpoint, incorporating not only the science and logic behind the study of medicine, but the emotions and the heart behind it too. The 15th annual Retreat was focused around the passage Ezekiel 37:1-14. Dr. Mike Attas, local cardiologist and Episcopal priest served as keynote speaker.

Arts and Sciences Join Forces
A collaboration between the art department and the science department has brought life to the walls of the Baylor Science Building.

New student art in the Baylor Sciences Building is the fruit of interdisciplinary collaboration
For the first time since the building opened in 2004, artwork is on public display in the Baylor Science Building. There are now six new pieces of student art displayed on the BSB’s second floor landing -- made possible by professors in art and biology working together with students.

Medical Humanities Students Bring Visual and Healing Arts to Life with Quilt
This past spring, a class of Baylor University medical humanities students sewed their passion for the healing arts into a service project that was anything but patchwork.

Medical Humanities Book Drive Benefits Local Health Care Clinic
Students in Baylor's medical humanities program held a successful Christmas book drive on campus that will place books in the hands of children visiting a local health care clinic.

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