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Why Medical Humanities?

The medical humanities offer a look at medicine from a variety of perspectives not normally available in the more scientific curriculum offered in most medical schools. Medical humanities include perspectives of the historian, the story teller, the anthropologist, the ethicist, the attorney, the psychiatrist and others.

Such perspectives prove a broadening context for the practice of medicine, a context that allows the physician to place his or her work into relationship with other established fields of knowledge.

Many physicians find the medical humanities to be helpful in their daily practice. The emphasis on language and communication, the attention to problem solving, and most importantly, the development of critical thinking that the medical humanities encourage serve to ground, deepen, and enrich the work of these physicians.

Medicine: The most humane of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities

 Student Responses To Medical Humanities Courses

 “The most significant strength was the healthy environment created for discussion …. GREAT CLASS — I highly recommend it!!”

“This course gave me insight into why medicine is like it is today. We also discussed the future and politics — very interesting! I really think this should be given to everyone — we should all know the beginnings of our chosen profession.”

“This has been about the most thought provoking course I have ever had …. It was a definite plus to have the disciplines of medicine, law and nursing represented.”

“…wish we had more time. Would love to continue this course in my residency. Thanks so much.”

“I wish we could have taken these humanities courses all through school.”

“I give the course an A +.”

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 Times and places of class meetings to be announced after consultation with enrolled students.

All instructors are aware that seniors need to be away for interviewing and thus will make reasonable accommodation for your travel.

Fall Offering

Law and Medicine – Basic overview of legal process as it affects practice of medicine, focusing on rights/obligations of physicians in daily practice.
Kemal Kutait, Jr.

Art and Medicine – Art and Medicine is a course designed to explore the relationship among fine/performing arts, medical practice, personal illness, and healing processes.  The course will look at such arts as dance, music, theater, painting, sculpture, and photography as both therapeutic and expressive for patients and practitioners, alike.  The course uses presentations, field trips, and other experiences to immerse students in the Arts as they relate to medicine.
Angela Scott M.D., Ph.D., FAAP

Spring Offering

Biomedical Ethics:  Concepts, Cases, and Consults – Are you ready for the ethical challenges you will face in your life as a physician? Do you want to learn more about how to handle challenging patients? This class applies key ethical concepts to cases from practice, consult calls, and emerging technology. Run seminar-style, students will be active participants in class discussions and in choosing topics to cover that correspond to their professional interests.
Leah R. Eisenberg, J.D., M.A.

Death and Dying – Survey of philosophical, physiological, psychological, sociological, ethical, and legal issues that speak to the experience of dying and the practice of caring for those who are.  The course is a mix of lecture and student presentations, with a field trip or two.  This course has students from multiple colleges at UAMS.
D. Micah Hester, Ph.D.

Literature and Medicine – Students will inspect literature of illness by patients, physicians, and theorists, and will write regularly about their own lives in medicine. Class readings and writings are relied upon as means to explore the role that receiving and analyzing narratives plays in the practice of medicine, and to inspect the role of story in the human experience. Readings will include works by Rita Charon, Sharon Olds, Oliver Sacks, Richard Selzer, Lucy Grealy, Jean Dominique-Bauby, and others.
Angela Scott M.D., Ph.D., FAAP

Medical Spanish – This brief course is designed to help those in the medical profession to effectively communicate in Spanish with patients and their families. The lessons presented will introduce, present and emphasize basic language structure, pronunciation and vocabulary. There will be special emphasis on important medical terminology.
Victor Haislop


To Enroll


Division of Medical Humanities
501-661-7970 Phone
501-661-7970 Fax


For more information please contact:
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Department of Medical Humanities

4301 West Markham Slot# 646
Phone: (501) 661-7970
Fax: (501) 661-7967