This Medical Humanities program investigates the human experience of health and illness. The Medical Humanities is an interdisciplinary field, one that lies at the intersection of the social sciences, the humanities, the arts, the biomedical sciences and the caregiving disciplines.
Majors examine fundamental and far-ranging questions about health and illness, from personal health struggles to global medical systems. Through interactions with faculty members from colleges and schools across the university, they learn how different social contexts, belief systems, historical traditions and literary works shape our perspectives on disease and the healing arts. Majors explore such diverse subjects as the ethics of care, patient advocacy, body image, narrative medicine, disabilities rights, medical racism, reproductive autonomy, genetic counseling, arts-based therapies, public health, health policy and the nature of death and dying.
The Medical Humanities major offers a broad and flexible curriculum. Majors take core courses in Bioethics, Medical Anthropology, and Literature and Illness and fulfill further requirements through a choice of offerings in Psychology, History, Sociology, Religious Studies, Child Advocacy and Biology. Majors also pursue individual academic and career goals by choosing one of four tracks of electives:
- Track 1: Caregiving, Aging Studies and Disability Studies
- Track 2: Communication and Advocacy
- Track 3: Human Biology and Psychological Well-Being
- Track 4: Community and Public Health
In their final year, all majors work one-on-one with a faculty supervisor to create a capstone project that could include placement in health care institutions or health-related organizations in New Jersey and New York City.
A competitive edge for the job market
The Medical Humanities major gives students a competitive edge in the health care industries, the fastest growing sector in the economy today. Med Hum majors acquire a knowledge base in diverse health care fields as well as the transferable job skills employers seek most: writing skills, oral communication, critical thinking and ethical decision-making.
Graduates of Medical Humanities programs find employment opportunities in hospitals, universities, pharmaceutical companies, nursing facilities, physicians’ offices, retirement communities, outpatient centers and with insurance carriers. A degree in Medical Humanities also helps prepare students for medical school and law school, as well as a range of interdisciplinary PhD programs in the humanities and social sciences.
To learn more about the discipline, consider adding Introduction to Medical Humanities (MEDH 101) to your schedule. Visit NEST for more details.