The Dr. Dennis J. Patterson
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Medical Humanities Minor

The medical humanities minor is designed to serve as a basis for the development and understanding of the skills and attributes associated with humanistic health care delivery. The term "medical humanities" refers to a study of the aspects of health care delivery which include ethical considerations in the provider-client relationship, as well as the humanistic components essential to good health care delivery, such as effective communication, integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect for clients and colleagues, empathy, and service. The minor is open to any student interested in the discourse between medicine, science, and care giving as a humane and humanistic art.

Objectives of the Minor

  • To heighten in students an awareness and appreciation of the varied ways human beings create and struggle with meaning and purpose in their lives, especially as they face illness, adversity, suffering, and death.
  • To engage students in a course of study (beyond the essential scientific information and clinical skills) that brings together academic, clinical, and service experiences which attend to the central concepts and practices in the medical humanities.
  • To involve students in well-informed ethical decision making, improve their ability to interact with persons of different backgrounds and cultures, and provide them an active introduction to research and clinical experience.
  • To expose students to diverse perspectives which scholars from many fields bring to complex questions involving health care and the health professions.

The following courses can contribute toward a minor in medical humanities:

Required Core Courses (four courses)

PHL 316 Ethical Aspects of Health Care or REL 332 Religious, Ethics, and Health Care

COM 114 Interpersonal Communication or COM 315 Intercultural Communication

MEH 490 Medical Humanities Clinical Experience (1/2 credit)

MEH 491 Medical Humanities Seminar/Research Capstone (1/2 credit)

Electives (three courses are required--all from different disciplines)

BID 300 Neuroethics

ENG 230 Readings in Race, Class, and Gender,

ENG 372 Multicultural/Postcolonial Literature

MEH 320 Quality and Safety in Healthcare

MEH 321 Enhancing Healthcare Through Our Stories

PHL 305 Philosophy of Science

PHL 326 Key Themes and Thinkers in Biomedicine

PSY 348 Health Psychology

SOC 216/316 Society, Health, and Illness

REL 331 Religious Ethics and Human Sexuality

REL 323 Religion and Science

MEH electives must be selected from three different departments and no more than two can be counted toward the Integrated Curriculum. At least three of the minor courses must be taken at the 300/400 level. Further information is listed in the Elmhurst College course book including prerequisites to any courses. Students interested in the medical humanities minor can contact the Patterson Center (pchp@elmhurst.edu) to learn more.

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