Medical Humanities Scholars Program

An Online Learning Community and Course (October 2015 – April 2016)

Program Description

The Medical Humanities Scholars Program is a learning experience that utilizes conference calls to provide medical students with the opportunity to consider where and how practices and theories from the arts and humanities intersect with medicine. Scholars will be asked to think critically about the limitations of traditional medical practice and training, and how engagement with the arts can address these limitations. Scholars will develop the skills necessary to apply arts and humanities theories/practices to their medicine-related endeavours, and develop a network of like-minded individuals who are passionate about inviting the arts into the realm of medicine.

Learning Objectives

  • Articulate how and where the humanities enrich and lend perspective to the medical field
  • Recognize and understand the complexity and necessity of engaging with narratives in the medical field
  • Bring the human back to medicine


  • Integrate experiences from this program (e.g. books read, prose/poetry written, discussions had) into their practice/thinking of medicine
  • Cogently discuss, write, and/or otherwise express views, feelings, and thoughts on the practice of medicine/experiences with patients utilizing the humanities
  • Successfully explore issues of debate within medicine from an ethical and humanistic perspective
  • Carry out a medical education project in the medical humanities at home institution


  • Acknowledge the human experience in the processes of healing and dying
  • View the practice of medicine as integration between science and humanities

Potential Topics

  • Narrative Medicine and Ethics
  • Film and Media
  • Metaphors in Medicine
  • Reading The Body
  • Illness Narratives
  • Cross-Cultural Medicine
  • Self-Care

Session Schedule

Date Session Title
Tues Oct 6 8:30pm EST Intro to narrative med & ethics
Tues Nov 3 8:30pm EST Film/Media
Tues Nov 17 8:30pm EST Metaphors in Medicine
Tues Dec 1 8:30pm EST The Body
Tues Jan 5 8:30pm EST Illness Narratives
Tues Feb 2 8:30pm EST Cross-Cultural Medicine
Tues Feb 16 8:30pm EST Self-Care
Tues Mar 1 8:30pm EST Med Humanities Wrap-Up

Participant Expectations

  • Maintain attendance (attendance is critical due to the small number of scholars and calls)
  • Read the selected readings ahead of the call
  • Participate in conference calls, in discussion, and in writing exercises while on the call
  • Sponsor an event or project at your school that highlights medical humanities, with an identified mentor or faculty advisor and sustainable plan to continue or expand the project
  • Present your project as a poster at AMSA’s National Convention (March 31-April 3; while attendance is not mandatory it is highly recommended).
Program Registration Fees
AMSA Student Member $40
Non-Member $140*

* Non-member fee includes AMSA membership, if applicable

For More Information, Contact

Alison Case, MD, Education and Advocacy Fellow, AMSA
Jafeen Ilmudeen, Scholars Program Coordinator
Nikisha Skeete, Scholars Program Coordinator
Maryam Golafshani, Scholars Program Coodinator