University of California, Riverside

School of Medicine

Medical Education Program

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Designated Emphasis in Medical and Health Humanities

The Designated Emphasis (DE) in Medical and Health Humanities builds a foundation for medical students to examine the individual, social, and historical experience of health, pathology, medicine, and clinical encounters. The DE will enhance skills of observation, analysis, self-expression and self-reflection; and foster the development of research, creative, innovative and improvisational responses needed to navigate multiple contexts of care.

Questions? Contact Professor of Social Medicine and Population Health Juliet McMullin, Ph.D. at the Center for Healthy Communities by email or call (951) 827-7853.

About the Program

Students can begin the designated emphasis any time during their first three years.

  • Complete three courses (the introductory course and two courses in the list of qualifying courses).
  • Work with a selected medical humanities faculty mentor to integrate a humanities perspective for your Practice Improvement Project (PIP).
  • Select a patient case study to discuss with your mentor. Write up three short papers based on that case study.
  • Present findings from your medical humanities PIP project at the School of Medicine's Conference on Teaching, Learning and Research.
  • Write a self-statement that describes how your own medical practice is a humanistic practice.
  • All these materials will create your Medical and Health Humanities portfolio that can be used when on the job market.

Students completing these requirements will receive a designated emphasis certificate in medical and health humanities.

Qualifying Courses:
  • Medicine is Humanities: An introduction to medical humanities
  • History of medicine
    • Race and gender
    • Science and technology
  • Co-constructing doctor and patient narratives
  • History of medical imaging
  • Objectivity and ambiguity
  • Structural competency
  • Community engaged practice
  • Faculty approved – independent study
  • Health and social justice
  • Cultural, medicine, and healing
  • Medical ethics
  • Health literacy
  • Healthcare relationships
  • Literature and medicine
  • Creative writing
  • Science fiction and medicine
  • Graphic medicine

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