The roots of the Medical Humanities Program at Baylor extend back to 1998 when a university committee, representing a broad range of disciplines within the sciences and humanities, was established to consider the need for such a program. In the Fall of 2004, Baylor's Board of Regents approved a Medical Humanities Program, making Baylor one of a handful of institutions with such a program for undergraduates. Currently, we have approximately 100 students taking courses in the discipline.
The academic field of medical humanities encompasses a liberal arts education in connection with modern medical practice. With an interdisciplinary approach, it includes courses across a wide range, including literature, religion, philosophy, history, economics, and ethics. Particular emphasis is in the history of Christian spirituality, models of medical knowledge and practice, patient/physician relationships, hospital-based ministry, and the nature of health care in the 21st century. This program provides students insight into the arts and humanities of medicine and provides them with an understanding of the human experience and the value of human life. Students also explore the crucial relationships between physicians and their patients, providing further appreciation of the role of the humanities in medicine. Students have opportunities to learn from practicing physicians through clinical rotations, exposing them to the real world of medicine and decision making that often involves deep ethical and spiritual issues.