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Medical Humanities

Mango: Vyshnavi Anandan

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.

The practice of medicine is fundamentally about people taking care of people. This means that medical students and physicians must master biomedical science and at the same time deepen understanding of the human experience of illness, suffering, doctoring and healing.

Engaging in medical humanities studies equips caregivers to find greater value in the practice of medicine, address social determinants of disease, and acknowledge the biases and limitations of science.

As part of a scholarly field, medical humanities includes disciplines that address this human experience, such as:

  • Anthropology
  • Contemplative studies
  • Cultural studies
  • Ethics
  • Film
  • History and history of ideas
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Theater
  • Visual arts
  • Religious and spiritual thought
  • Sociology

Campus Enrichment Programs

Our rich menu of yearly offerings includes a wide range of courses open to all Drexel medical students. We also offer standalone talks, workshops and special events.

Medical Humanities Scholars Program

Some students choose to pursue a scholarly concentration in the Medical Humanities by fulfilling requirements of our certificate programs that include coursework and a mentored capstone project. Scholars are recognized at graduation and are awarded their MD degree with distinction. Learn more about our Scholars Program.

The Tincture

An edition of The Tincture, our College of Medicine’s student journal of arts and literature, is published each year. Read a copy of The Tincture online.

Medical Humanities Program In the News

An Evening at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

On Sunday, November 6, 2022, MD program students joined three Academy experts in ichthyology, ornithology and archives to discuss the intersections between the natural sciences and medicine.

An Evening at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

"Melodies and Maladies"

College of Medicine at Tower Health medical humanities course called "Melodies and Maladies," in which MD students study classical composers and their illnesses, is taught by Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, a professor and Bioethics & Professional Formation course director. Read more.

2020 Virtual White Coat Ceremony Keynote Address

The keynote speaker for the 2020 Virtual White Coat Ceremony was Steven Rosenzweig, MD, Director, Office of Community Engagement, Professor of Emergency Medicine. Watch video on YouTube.

"Learning at the Intersection of Art and Science"

Physicians don't treat patients in a vacuum, and the study of medicine can't be isolated from the human experience. For more than 40 years, the College of Medicine's vital and still-growing humanities program has equipped students with greater insight about the world outside of the examination room. Read more.

"13 Body Parts"

Candice Mazon, class of 2019, won second place in the 35th annual William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition, sponsored by the Department of Family & Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University, and was invited to read her poem at the awards ceremony. Read more.

Students In Medical Humanities Program Honored

Three College of Medicine students in the Medical Humanities program recently had their artwork and poetry recognized. The Medical Humanities are disciplines that inquire into the human experience of illness, healing and doctoring with attention to meaning, values and the history of ideas. Read more.

Contact Information

Drexel University College of Medicine
Office of Admissions
60 N. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

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