Medical Humanities

An interdisciplinary program housed in the College of Liberal Arts, Benedictine's major in Medical Humanities major reflects an increasing emphasis in graduate and medical education on interdisciplinary knowledge, and on the training of future medical practitioners who are ethically and psychologically informed as well as expert in the sciences.

The Medical Humanities program aims to:

  • educate future scholars and professionals who are both accomplished in their fields and engaged, responsible global citizens;
  • promote the creation of a medical community that regards patients and practitioners as whole persons;
  • expose students to ideas and practices that "humanize" medical science and ground humanistic knowledge in the life sciences;
  • foster students' awareness of the interconnectedness and relevance to life of the various academic disciplines; and
  • to encourage students to recognize the connections between practical knowledge, ethical values, and professionalism.

With its "MCAT core" requirements balanced by student-selected coursework in the College of Liberal Arts, the Medical Humanities major is ideal for ambitious, accomplished students who have multiple talents and interests, and whose post-baccalaureate goals include either medical school or graduate study in Medical Humanities or related fields.

For additional information about the Medical Humanities program, please contact the Program Director, Dr. Elizabeth Kubek.

Major requirements

(1) MCAT "Core" sequence
  • Mathematics: MATH 111 (3)
  • Chemistry: CHEM 113 (3), CHEM 114 (1), CHEM 123 (3), CHEM 124 (1), CHEM 242 (3), CHEM 243 (1), CHEM 247 (3), CHEM 248 (1)
  • Biology: BIOL 197 (3), BIOL 198 (3), BIOL 199 (1), BIOL 250 (3), BIOL 251 (1), BIOL 258 (4), BIOL 340 (3), BIOL 259 (1) or 203 (4) or 341 (1)
  • Biochemistry: BCHM 261 (3)
  • Physics: PHYS 113 (3), PHYS 114 (1), PHYS 118 (3), PHYS 119 (1)

(2) Language Proficiency

Proficiency in a modern language at the 202 level (up to 12 credit hours); or one year Latin, one year Greek (no proficiency option, although AP credit can be applied) (6 credit hours)

(3) Interdisciplinary track A or B:

Track A: Concentration in a College of Liberal Arts discipline

Five-course concentration in a College of Liberal Arts (COLA) discipline (courses selected by the program director/Department Chair with input from faculty, approved by the Medical Humanities Advisory Group; two at the 300 level), and five from a list of approved courses (selected by Departments) in COLA disciplines other than the concentration discipline. A course in Medical Ethics is strongly suggested. One of the ten COLA courses must be cross-listed as MDHM 200, Introduction to Medical Humanities; students may also fulfill this requirement by taking NTSC 210, Science and the Humanities, in addition to the ten COLA courses.The concentration discipline is not to "double-count" towards a major or minor, but the other five COLA courses may. Track must total at least 30 credit hrs. During the senior year, student will also complete and submit a final major research project (which must entail writing a paper of significant length), and must also have been approved (by signature) by two faculty members, at least one of whom must represent a COLA discipline, and who will supervise the student and grade the final project.

or

Track B: Self-Designed Medical Humanities Program

Ten courses, of which no more than four may be from a College other than COLA, and at least three of which must be at the 300 level; these courses should add up to a concentration in a field or topic appropriate to the Medical Humanities discipline (for examples, students should refer to such professional resources as the Medical Humanities central website or the peer-reviewed journal Medical Humanities). A course in Medical Ethics is strongly suggested. One of the ten COLA courses must be cross-listed as MDHM 200, Introduction to Medical Humanities; students may also fulfill this requirement by taking NTSC 210, Science and the Humanities, in addition to the ten COLA courses. Students wishing to design such a program must submit a written rationale to the Medical Humanities Advisory Group for approval (by majority vote). This rationale must demonstrate a clear connection between the selected courses and a major senior research project (which must entail writing a paper of significant length), and must also have been approved (by signature) by two faculty members, at least one of whom must represent a COLA discipline, and who will supervise the student and grade the final project. The student's plan of study should be based on a reasonable expectation that the courses selected will be offered within the timeframe proposed for completion of the degree. The track must total at least 30 credit hours.

(4) Service

Total of forty documented service hours, normally by the end of the Junior year, at cooperating sites with medical service function (hospice, etc.), including sites abroad. All majors must meet practica requirements, including successful completion of BIOL 203 or BIOL 258, 30 credit hours earned at Benedictine, and a 3.2 GPA. These service hours are not necessarily practicum hours, and may be integrated into the capstone course.

(5) Capstone Course: "Medical Humanities in Action"

This 3-credit hour 300-level capstone course includes a group research project in interdisciplinary areas that serve the public interest, i.e. public health, epidemiology and policy, provider/patient relations, medicine "across borders" (disciplinary, global, cultural, etc.), and health and medicine in schools.

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