As individuals, members of communities, and citizens of nations and the world, our health and well-being depend on personal, social, financial, and cultural
situations; medical and institutional practices; and access to resources based on demographic, geographic, legal, and political factors—not just scientific knowledge and surgical skill. In this course, we will read, discuss, and write about multiple genres of literature, including memoirs, essays, fiction, and poetry related to these various determinants of health and illness experience. While acknowledging global and historic literature, this version of the course focuses primarily on modern and contemporary American texts from an array of voices in the field.
You will be expected to complete weekly readings and discussion boards, including initial posts and responses. Other assignments include a formal midterm assignment, a formal end-of-term assignment, a recorded presentation, a book review, and a reflection.
Since medicine, health care, and health practices are compassionate arts as well
endeavors informed by biology and other scientific knowledge, this course is valuable for students in pre-medicine and health-care fields as well as humanities and social sciences. It is also a required course for the certificate in medical humanities, about which you are all invited to inquire to the professor.