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Medical and Health Humanities

A Gumberg Library research guide

What are the Medical and Health Humanities?

Medical humanities can be defined as an interdisciplinary, and increasingly international endeavor that draws on the creative and intellectual strengths of diverse disciplines, including literature, art, creative writing, drama, film, music, philosophy, ethical decision making, anthropology, and history, in pursuit of medical educational goals. The humanistic sciences are relevant when multiple people’s perspectives on issues are compiled together to answer questions or even create questions. The arts can provide additional perspective to the sciences.

Critical medical humanities is an approach which argues that the arts and humanities have more to offer to healthcare than simply improving medical education. It proposes that the arts and humanities offer different ways of thinking about human history, culture, behavior and experience which can be used to dissect, critique and influence healthcare practices and priorities.

Health humanities is an interdisciplinary field of study that draws on aspects of the arts and humanities in its approach to health care, health and well-being. It involves the application of the creative or fine arts (including visual arts, music, performing arts) and humanities disciplines (including literary studies, languages, law, history, philosophy, religion, etc.) to questions of human health and well-being. This applied capacity of the humanities is not itself a novel idea; however, the construct of the health humanities only began to emerge in the first decade of the 21st century.                   

From Wikipedia

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