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The University of Delaware offers an interdisciplinary minor in
Medical Humanities, administered by the Department of Philosophy. The
minor explores how different kinds of humanistic inquiry inform and are
informed by the science and practice of medicine.
MINOR IN MEDICAL HUMANITIES
One of the following (3-4 credits):
BISC 103 or BISC 104 Principles of Biology
BISC 106 Elementary Human Physiology
BISC 276 Human Physiology
BISC 306 General Physiology
KAAP 220 Anatomy and Physiology
Humanistic Approaches 12
One three credit course from each of the
following three disciplinary groups (9 credits), plus one additional
course from any one of the groups (3 credits).
Ethics and Policy
PHIL 241 Ethical Issues in Health Care
PHIL 313 Killing and Letting Die
PHIL 444 Medical Ethics
Art, Literature, and History
HIST 382 History of Western Medicine
SOCI 343 Society, Politics, and Healthcare
SOCI 311 Sociology of Health & Illness
WOMS 389 Topics: Women and Health Issues
1 Credit Independent Study (pass/fail)
A short (1000 word) discussion of how humanistic studies can
inform and improve the practice of healthcare, with specific reference
to the content of one or more classes taken (must include specific
reference to any classes substituted for a listed class). Restriction:
must be in senior year or have completed 12 units of the minor to
Class substitutions: Relevant alternative classes, or 3 credit
independent study, may be substituted within each group if approved by
the minor's faculty advisor.
The idea is to give you a chance to reflect on your
overall experience of the minor. Beyond that, what you choose to write
on is very much up to you. For example, you might focus on something
that stuck with you from one particular course, or a theme that has
struck you over the various courses you have taken in the minor, or you
might reflect on how you expect medical humanities to inform you in your
career going forward. The opportunity to talk with you and read about
what you have done in the minor also helps me to find out what is
happening in classes that I don't teach myself. This should not be an
onerous requirement. The general expectation is that you will meet with
the MHM advisor to discuss the project, you will submit a first version
of the capstone essay in plenty of time to talk about it with the
advisor and complete any needed revisions before the end of the
You do the capstone as a one credit independent study. When the time comes, you do this by:
Due to the limited range of regular classes in the minor, timetabling
can be an issue for some people. You can increase your options by
looking for classes that might make suitable 3 credit substitutions for
listed classes. Basically, suitable substitutions will have a
significant portion (at least more than half) of the class content
devoted to medical related issues from the perspective of some
Relevant 3 credit alternative classes may be substituted for listed classes - if approved by the minor's faculty advisor.
It is wise to discuss such plans with the advisor ahead of time. You
are particularly encouraged to consider taking an independent study
relevant to the minor; working closely with a faculty member with whom
you share interests can be a very valuable experience... and can provide
a good basis for recommendations.
If you are looking for substitution options, a good bet is to use the UDSIS Course Search
for the semester of interest. In the 'Course number' box, enter just
the letter code for the subject area of interest and scan the listing
for promising titles. Good subject codes to try include...
Here are a few examples of classes that have been
approved as substitutions in the Minor. Please do let me know if you
spot other possibilities - even if you are not planning to take them
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