The Health & Medical Humanities is a relatively new field of study integrating medicine and health with the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The minor in Health & Medical Humanities is an 18-hour interdisciplinary program designed to offer students an introduction to the field, and to build competency in the subject through courses in a number of departments in the Colleges of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the College of Health & Human Services, and the College of Education. Recent scholarship reveals that many of the skills and approaches of the arts, humanities, and social sciences can valuably enhance the education of doctors, nurses, and indeed all health professionals, offering ways to translate clinical scientific knowledge into meaningful patient care. The Humanities offer a complementary approach to examining and understanding the profound effects of illness and disease, of wellness and health – adding meaning to measurement.
Topics addressed by the Health & Medical Humanities include: the history of medicine; humanistic investigations into health-care policy and bio-politics; considerations of race, gender, and socio-economic status in medicine and public health; bioethics and medical ethics; the importance of understanding narrative in diagnostics and patient care (“narrative medicine”); and the roles of creativity, arts-educated observation, and aesthetics (music, visual arts, theatre, and literature) in health and medicine.
The minor is an attractive option for both science-oriented students (such as public health, pre-med, pre-health, and biological science majors), as well as students in the social sciences and the humanities.
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES and PUBLIC HEALTH students: The HMH minor offers an opportunity to learn about the connections between health, medicine, and humanities – offering a solid background in the more “humanistic criteria” that Medical Schools, Nursing Schools, and health-sector employers are now looking for.
SOCIAL SCIENCES and HUMANITIES students: In 2018, the healthcare sector became the biggest employer in the United States. For students in the Social Sciences or the Humanities who want to leverage their creativity and social engagement to make a better world, the HMH minor offers exposure to some of the more creative job opportunities in this emerging field. Yet the skills and content garnered through an HMH minor will be applicable to many fields beyond the healthcare sector.
Most courses listed below are offered on a regular basis; these, as well as special topics courses in multiple departments, may be taken for credit toward the minor with permission of the Minor Coordinator. Once you have decided on the minor, you should contact the Center for the Humanities and also declare the minor with your major advisor as soon as possible. For more information about the minor, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information about courses offered in the minor can be found on the Center for the Humanities homepage: https://www.eiu.edu/humanitiescenter/hmhminor.php.
Total Semester Hours: 18