The art and science of medicine

“Biology helped me pass my exams, including the all-important MCAT. But bioethics courses, with the heavy emphasis placed on the medical humanities as essential to successful clinical practice, continues to help me know what it means to be with the sick and suffering every day.”

Understand the importance of the clinician-patient relationship

The Bioethics and Medical Humanities minor provides students with a greater understanding of the art of medicine, the importance of the clinician-patient relationship, the spiritual and emotional dimensions of disease, and the human experience of illness.

The study of bioethics concerns the moral implications of biological and medical procedures, technologies, and treatments. It focuses on ways in which research is applied to clinical practice and public policy. Bioethics promotes dialogue between science, biotechnology, medicine, nursing, politics, law, philosophy and religion. By extension, bioethics now considers important questions related to the moral status of animals and the environment.

Medical humanities is about what matters most in medical practice–an awareness and appreciation for the “whole person” in medicine.

Combining bioethics studies with medical humanities–an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of the humanities, social sciences, and the arts, and their application to medical education and practice–provides an even broader perspective for students planning careers in medicine, healthcare policy, health law, psychology, public and/or global health, social work, patient advocacy, health journalism, bioethics, or healthcare management.

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Click to view course requirements for the Bioethics and Medical Humanities minor.

For more information regarding the Bioethics and Medical Humanities Program at Elms College, please contact Dr. Peter DePergola (

Required Courses (6 Credits)

Course #Course Name# of Credit Hours
BMH 3006Medical Humanities3
BMH 3007Bioethics3

Elective Courses (12 credits)

Course #Course Name# of Credit Hours
Choose 12 Credits in Bioethics and/or Medical Humanities.