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On the subject of medical humanities

What are medical humanities?

The Medical Humanities have a long international tradition, above all in the English-speaking countries.

The term medical humanities is used to designate interdisciplinary approaches enabling the meeting of concepts and methodologies from different fields of knowledge and where the humanities, social sciences and arts can play an important role for the disciplines of medicine and health sciences.

In their book Medical Humanities. An Introduction, Thomas Cole, Nathan Carlin and Ronald Carson define the ambitions of the field:

“explores contexts, experiences, and critical and conceptual issues in medicine and health care, while supporting professional identity formation”

Will the centre approach the medical humanities in a particular way?

The Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanities will contribute to the profile of the Faculty of Medicine and Lund University. This will be achieved through special initiatives in research and education of significance for the interpersonal relations between medical staff and patients – combining science and compassion in their encounter and treatment. 

Until now, the medical degree programme at Lund University has particularly emphasised the specialisation in medical humanities known as narrative medicine, which centres on the role of stories in the experience of illness and healthcare. 

There are other ways of defining medical humanities and the centre looks forward to examining them. 

Read more in an interview with director of the Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanities, Martin Garwicz