HC421H - Medical Humanities

Professor: Katy Brundan

4.00 credits

CRN 32958: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:00-3:50pm @ CHA 301

In this course, students study the techniques of narrative medicine in order to gain a broader approach to thinking critically about medical access and the concepts of health and illness. Narrative medicine was initially designed to aid healthcare workers in their job, to be mindful of patients as social, emotional beings, and to relieve stress. In this class, we will employ humanities methodologies to study questions of structural inequities in medical outcomes and experiences, while developing our empathy towards others. In order to do this, we study narratives of people’s medical experiences – in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, interviews – alongside theoretical texts. The course will involve interviewing a professional or individual involved in a relevant non-profit organization in order to practice the techniques of listening and empathizing as we explore some of the social issues surrounding medical care. We will also practice some creative writing, a technique that has been recommended for healthcare workers to process work-related stress. The final project will involve developing your own focus on a particular medical issue, researching medical and non-medical sources for an essay and a podcast. Reading for the course reflects writers’ or subjects' diverse ethnicities, national origins, and epochs as we study how gender, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, immigrant status, and language competency affect the ability to access effective medical care.