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College of Arts and Sciences

Medical Humanities

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What is Medical Humanities?

At Boston College, Medical Humanities is an interdisciplinary, humanistic and cultural study of illness, health, health care, and the body. Students choose courses from a range of departments in Arts and Sciences, from the social sciences and the humanities as well as the natural sciences. Throughout, the minor draws from Boston College’s commitment to social justice, ethics, and care for the whole person.

Who should minor in Medical Humanities?

Current minors are planning careers in medicine, health care policy or law, psychology, public/global health, social work, patient advocacy, or health journalism. Other minors, undecided about career path, are interested in learning more about bioethics, the history of health practices, or the narrative contexts for current (and at times competing) ideas about illness and the body.

Application Procedures

The Medical Humanities minor requires an application and approval by the committee to enroll. Applications are read in March and October each year; the minor is not open to students beyond October of the junior year.

How can I learn more?

Email the director, Amy Boesky, at boesky@bc.edu, or the Graduate Assistant, rachel.ernst@bc.edu to set up an appointment.

Student Profile

Matthew Mannella

My name is Matthew Mannella and I am a recently graduated communications major with minors in chemistry and the medical humanities. I came to Boston College knowing that I wanted to pursue a career in dentistry, and like most students on the pre-medical track, I assumed this was synonymous with being a science major. I was excited to help people—to get to know them as human beings, and to build relationships that extended beyond the realms of a treatment plan.

"A Boston State of Mind" is an original documentary produced by the Gabelli Presidential Scholars Class of 2017 that explores the topic of mental health in the Boston community, focusing specifically on the cultural and socioeconomic injustices associated with awareness, stigma, and care. In working to acknowledge the universality of mental illness and the necessity for holistic mental healthcare, this project also aims to deepen the ongoing discussion of mental health at BC by highlighting the social justice issues associated with mental health in the greater Boston area. Youtube video

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