EIU is one of only a handful of universities and colleges in the region to offer a minor in the Health & Medical Humanities, and the only state university in Illinois to do so! Our team of experts (link: Affiliate Faculty) brings together a diversity of disciplines to educate students about the varying ways that the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts enhance our health and medical practice.
The minor is becoming an attractive option for both science-oriented students (such as pre-med, pre-health, and biological science majors) and students in the social sciences and the humanities.
BIO and HEALTH students: The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently noted that “the health humanities trend dovetails with recent changes in the MCAT® exam [and] the need for more humanistic criteria in the admissions process” (2015). What this means for pre-med and pre-health students is that our HMH minor offers an opportunity to learn about the connections between health, medicine, and humanities— offering a solid background in the more “humanistic criteria” that Medical Schools, Nursing Schools, and health-sector employers are now looking for. Want to get a leg up on the competition? Get an HMH minor!
SOC SCI and HUMANITIES students: In 2018, the healthcare sector became the biggest employer in the United States. More people are employed in healthcare than in retail or manufacturing. And the trends are going nowhere but up. Your degree in the Social Sciences or the Humanities makes you a viable candidate in many different fields, and the skills and content you will attain with an HMH minor will be applicable to many fields beyond the healthcare sector. Yet you may not have considered some of the more creative and emerging jobs that bring together your major in the social sciences or the humanities with health and medicine. And there are new career options that have yet to be imagined. Want to leverage your creativity and your social engagement in health and medicine to make a better world? Get an HMH minor!
We have two required courses: HIC 2100G (or 2190G Honors) and PHI 3080 -- an intro course to the HMH minor (which doubles as a Gen Ed requirement in the Humanities, and triples as a Diversity Gen Ed requirement), and a philosophy course on Medical Ethics.
Our elective courses span 13 different departments, and include many courses that double up as Gen Ed requirements in various categories such as Social/Behavioral Sciences, Scientific Awareness, and the Humanities. You’ll need to choose only 4 of these, though you may be tempted -- and are welcome -- to take more! Some of them will no doubt count towards your major. Come talk to us about how you can navigate the curriculum efficiently by emailing the minor coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. The sooner you start, the quicker you’ll finish!
You can check out our curriculum sheet for more information here.
You can read more about our HMH minor below!
The Health & Medical Humanities Minor integrates the study of medicine and health with the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Our students develop a rich foundation for understanding the human condition and its undeniable dependence on the health of bodies and minds. As students prepare for a wide range of careers—from healthcare professional to medical researcher, from art therapist to fiction writer—they pursue and gain new skills for drawing connections between the profound effects of health and disease and the creative problem-solving that human beings need to exercise.
Topics include: the history of medicine; humanistic investigations into healthcare policy and biopolitics; considerations of race, gender, and socio-economic status in medicine and public health; bioethics and medical ethics; the importance of understanding narrative in diagnostics and patient care (“narrative medicine”); and the roles of creativity, arts-educated observation, and aesthetics (music, visual arts, theatre, and literature) in health and medicine.