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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.”

Understanding 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.

Bioethics and Medical Humanities Minor Curriculum

All courses carry 3 credits, unless otherwise indicated.

BIO 307/507 Bioethics
BMH 308/508 Medical Humanities

Bioethics (choose two or three, depending on required course(s) taken):
BIO 105 Human Applications
BIO 110 Environmental Biology
BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO Cell Biology
BIO 321 Genetics (4 credits)
Comparative Religious Bioethics
PHI 248 Healthcare Ethics

Medical Humanities (choose two or three, depending on required course(s) taken):
PHI 220 Human Nature
REL 340 Spirituality & Values in Health Care
SOC 214 Sociology of Health Care
Suffering and Grief
REL 248 Human Rights
PSY 310 Gender
Human Sexuality
Death and Dying
SWK 303 Mental Health & Mental Illness
SWK 204 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
LEG 311 Health Law
REL 440 Addiction & Recovery
SWK 404 Aging
IDS 215 Literature and Medicine
Philosophy of Health and Healing (new)
Medical Anthropology (new)
Contemporary Issues in Global Health (new)

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Required Credits