Medical Humanities Minor Now Available to U of A Students

Medical humanities students get real-world, patient-centered service learning experiences in professional medical settings.
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Medical humanities students get real-world, patient-centered service learning experiences in professional medical settings.

A new undergraduate medical humanities minor became available to University of Arkansas students in fall 2019 and 110 students have already declared it as their minor.

The medical humanities minor is designed to give students an overview of the ways in which various disciplines in the humanities inform, intersect with, and apply to understandings of the medical arts and sciences.

The minor is beneficial for students preparing for careers in health care, social services, and health-related fields, especially those who wish to understand how cultural, social, ethical, religious, literary, artistic, and other such perspectives can enrich conceptualizations and approaches to patient care.

Approaching medicine from a humanistic perspective will help future health care and social service practitioners view patients and individuals with greater empathy and awareness, as well as provide them with the tools to critically analyze their own experiences. The minor is also appropriate for students from disciplines within the humanities and social sciences who are interested in researching and practicing in such areas related to:

  • The historical, social, and cultural dynamics that have informed medical institutions and treatment

  • Patient advocacy

  • Medical law and ethics

  • Narrative medicine

  • Art, music or narrative therapies.

The Medical Humanities Steering Committee is comprised of professors Casey Kayser in English, Trish Starks in History, Jonathan Marion in Anthropology, and Warren Herold in Philosophy, who collaborated to develop this minor. Kayser directs the program.

The minor requires 18 hours, and students can choose courses in introductory, core and elective categories. More information can be found in the Catalog of Studies

Students can contact Kayser at with questions about the minor. 


Casey Kayser, assistant professor
Department of English


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