July 4, 2020
On medical health humanities

See blog here

From the website: "Over half of United States medical schools include health humanities content in their curricula, but humanities education for students in other academic health science programs are few and far between. The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is working to address this gap identified by the National Organization for the Arts in Health (NOAH) in 2017. For many years, various MUSC faculty members and groups have infused health humanities programming into our six colleges: dental medicine, graduate studies, health professions (i.e., allied health), medicine, nursing, and pharmacy. Seeing the need for a more systematic approach, the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost created an Office of Humanities in 2017. The director of the Office of Humanities established a mission to promote teaching, scholarship, and research in the health humanities across our institution, in large part by leveraging the existing network and fostering its growth. In this two-part blog series, we’ll describe the health humanities programs at MUSC to illustrate how we’ve created broad humanities programming across the university. We hope these descriptions reflect our strategy for broadening institutional perceptions of what the health humanities are and how they contribute to health professions education and practice. For Part One of this two-part blog series, we’ll focus on the core initiatives led by our Office of Humanities. In Part Two, we’ll describe programs led by the Office’s university and community partners."

See article here

From the article: "A mainstay of the medical humanities has been a persistent impulse to define the field, “whether it is taken to be a discipline or a field of enquiry, or a set of interventions, shared values, or interdisciplinary collaborative relationships.”[1] Piece after piece, anthology after anthology attempt to outline what the medical humanities does. This, I think, emerges out of tensions across the fields that compose the medical humanities and resistances to the field’s interdisciplinarity that require uneasy partnerships between what C.P. Snow has called “the two cultures.” Critics of the medical humanities have put pressure on the fact that this field presupposes a relationship between medicine and the humanities that, as Jones implies above, only recently came to be through the institutionalization of medical humanities in medical education. Versions of this critique center on how the medical humanities typically gets housed within schools of medicine as medicine, which scholars like Rita Charon have argued is a crucial justification for the field’s value and relevance. Rather than simply exercises in empathy or the “soft” skills of the humanities being forced upon medical students, narrative medicine, for instance, is understood as a means of refining and enhancing the practice of medicine. But the fact remains that the medical humanities, as a field or set of fields that often critiques medicine as an institution and industry, is seldom in an institutional place to do so or can do so only superficially."