Health Humanities is a rapidly growing, interdisciplinary field that applies humanistic perspectives to health and health care. The humanities (cultural and language studies, history, literature, philosophy, theology and religious studies, and the arts) are indispensable to humane health care because they teach us about the human condition, about human suffering and healing, and about human well-being and flourishing. The Health Humanities Program emphasizes the study of human dignity, human values, and health care ethics (bioethics). The program employs holistic and integrated understandings of what it means to be human, in contrast to what has been called "biomedical reductionism." Human beings cannot be reduced to biochemical processes but are complex wholes of body, mind, and soul. Humane health care depends on that recognition: on seeing patients as whole persons. Students who successfully complete a Health Humanities major or minor, along with required science courses outside the program, will be well-prepared for admission to medical school, to Physician Assistant programs, and to other health science graduate programs. The program is also ideal for students who have an interest in law school, in earning a graduate degree in public health, or in pursuing an administrative career in health care.
The student completing the Health Humanities minor will be able to:
- Understand humanistic perspectives, human values, and their health applications.
- Deploy a comprehensive and multifaceted understanding of human health as human well-being and flourishing, encompassing the physical, mental, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of human life and experience.
- Use skills that are essential for humane health care, health promotion, and health stewardship: observation, analysis, communication, critical thinking, discernment, empathy, and self-reflection.
- Demonstrate interdisciplinary preparation for humane health care through a deeper understanding of (and empathy for) impairment, illness, suffering, healing, aging, and dying as human experiences on an individual level and in community.
- Understand the influence of social, cultural, and economic contexts on the manifestation of disease and the experience of illness.
- Reflect upon and act appropriately as neighbor to the person who is suffering (Luke 10:25-37).
- Counter the main sources of dehumanization in modern medicine, health care, and public health, including biomedical reductionism, misuse of technology, commercialization, and stigma.
- Employ knowledge of the main concepts, principles, applications, and controversies in biomedical and public health ethics.
- Show familiarity with humanities concepts that are part of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
Students must achieve the following program requirements for all courses listed under Program Requirements and Program Required Courses for the Health Humanities minor.
Minor Credits: 20
Minor Residency Credits: 12
Minimum GPA: 2.0
Program Required Courses
|HHU/PHL 2301||Health, Happiness, and Human Well-being||4|
|HHU 2900||Health Humanities Foundations||4|
|HHU/ENG 3010||Trauma and Recovery: Medicine and Literature||4|
|HHU/GCL 3401||Health Care Across Cultures||4|
|HHU 4400||Health Humanities Capstone Seminar||4|