As medical innovation and scientific discovery continue at an extraordinary pace, so too does the demand for medical professionals who appreciate the ethical, historical and human aspects of medicine. The field of medical humanities grew out of this need to combine the science of medicine with an understanding of the broader context of healthcare delivery and its meaning to people and society.
Recognizing the importance of humanities in training the physician leaders of tomorrow, CCLCM offers medical humanities coursework throughout its five-year program. Directed by Martin Kohn, PhD, the program is a collaborative partnership between CCLCM and the Center for Ethics, Humanities and Spiritual Care.
Some highlights of the students' humanities work can be found in the student-run medical humanities journal,
What Humanities Offers
Our medical humanities teaching and learning techniques are grounded in:
- Perspective The recognition that exposure to multiple points of view can lead to deeper and more nuanced understanding of one's own value system.
- Process An approach to teaching that offers students the ability to cope with, and perhaps even find comfort within, the challenges of complexity and ambiguity.
- Community betterment through the humanities and arts The opportunity to work with neighborhood organizations to improve the health and well-being of Clevelanders.
Currently, the first two years of the medical humanities curriculum comprise large and small group sessions, and four creative projects including reflective essays and an oral history of a long-standing Cleveland Clinic employee.
Hear what our students have to say about Humanities.
Why Humanities Matters
By studying medical humanities, students:
- Realize the meaning of the human experience of health and illness and how that experience relates to the art of doctoring.
- Are awakened to more fully experience the world.
- Become well-rounded people who are skilled not only at medical care and research, but also in creative and humanistic approaches to medicine.
Partnerships with community organizations focused on health and wellness also provide opportunities for students to engage in creative work centered on the care of vulnerable groups within our society.
Another benefit is that students realize an “emotional attachment to place.” As our students seek to build health in those they serve, they also will create a healthier community. This work may foster a sense of investment in Greater Cleveland, thereby encouraging our students to become lifelong residents committed to the growth, sustainability and wellness of our neighborhoods.
For additional information, see the Medical Humanities page on the Center for Ethics, Humanities and Spiritual Care website.