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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

Andrew Hawkins

My name is Andrew Hawkins and I am a junior biology major with a pre-medical concentration and a minor in medical humanities. In order to provide humanitarian aid throughout the globe, a physician needs to understand the practice of medicine without the amenities of our technology-driven healthcare culture. I am particularly interested in the functioning of medicine in wilderness, post-disaster and resource-scarce environments where patient-care reverts back to an earlier era out of necessity.

"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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