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PAH Health Humanities

Resources for healthcare professionals interested in health humanities, narrative medicine, and graphic medicine

What is Medical Humanities?

The health humanities is a …field concerned with understanding the human condition of health and illness in order to create knowledgeable and sensitive health care providers, patients, and family caregivers.  As a field the health humanities draws on the methodologies of the humanities, fine arts and social sciences to provide insight, understanding, and meaning to people facing illness including professional care providers, lay care providers, patients, policy-makers and others concerned with the suffering of humans (p. 3)

Definition from Klugman, Craig M., and Erin Gentry Lamb. 2019. “Introduction: Raising Health Humanities.” In Research Methods in Health Humanities, edited by Craig M. Klugman and Erin Gentry Lamb, 1-11. New York: Oxford University Press.

Additional definitions can be found on the Health Humanities Consortium page. Health Humanities Consortium. “Defining Health/Medical Humanities” HHC Curricular Toolkit. August 2021.

Philadelphia Area Health Humanities Organizations

Perelman School of Medicine Humanities Council

  • The Medical Humanities Council oversees arts and humanities programming and development within PSOM. We hold community discussions, host speakers, and showcase student & faculty work throughout the year. We also partner with organizations both within and outside of PSOM to promote the humanities in medicine.

Temple University Narrative Medicine Program

  • Our mission is to focus on the human side of medicine, to increase the satisfaction and fulfillment of students and physicians, and to chronicle the amazing world of Temple University Hospital. We do this through a celebration of and emphasis on stories and storytelling.

Jefferson Health & Humanities Programs

  • Jefferson Humanities & Health supports student engagement in the arts and humanities to promote essential skills related to healthcare including close observation, critical thinking, communication and empathy.  Each academic year, Jefferson Humanities & Health explores a thought-provoking theme from a wide range of perspectives. During 2023-2024, the Jefferson Humanities Forum speaker series will bring a handful of multidisciplinary scholars and thinkers to investigate the theme Futures.
  • Health Humanities Reading Group current and past selections (scroll down to the bottom of the page)

PCOM Department of Medical Humanities

  • The mission of the Department of Medical Humanities is to help our students acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to fulfill their ethical and professional responsibilities to their patients, community and society.

Medical Humanities for MD Students - Drexel University

  • Established in the 1960s, the Medical Humanities program at the College of Medicine is one of the first of its kind in the U.S.  The Medical Humanities program supports the development of intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual capacity of medical students and physicians, and fosters greater self-awareness, empathy, compassion and wisdom.
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