The history of medical humanities is a blueprint showing the advancement of civilization. Many people dismiss the study of medical humanities in medical education, whether at the premedical, medical school, or postgraduate level. This paper provides evidence the study of medical humanities benefits society as a whole with the understanding of scientific exploration, professionalism, and cultural competence.
How does one define the study of humanities? Stanford University a leading research institutions describes, “The humanities is the study of the myriad ways in which people, from every period of history and from every corner of the globe, process and document the human experience” (Human experience, 2014). By gaining insights into our world, through exploration of the humanities we learn how to become critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and formulate hypothesis to develop research methods, which helps us understand our world. Further investigation into humanities relating to history helps us understand past civilizations and direct us towards a better future. Unlike scientists, humanists are interested in raising questions, rather than providing absolute answers (Human experience, 2014a).
The study of humanities provides knowledge gained by a sense of belonging, a link to those who have preceded us, as well as our contemporaries in society. Humanities provide an endless array of subjects to investigate. For example, one can further explore humanistic knowledge in specific disciplines such as medical humanities.
In the literature review, “Humanities in Undergraduate Medical Education” the authors proclaims, “Humanities form an integral part of undergraduate medical curricula at numerous medical schools all over the world, and medical journals publish a considerable quantity of articles in this field”(Ousager & Johannessen, 2010). However, concrete evidence is sparse showing the validity in measurable quantitative and qualitative data. Jakob Ousager, PhD and Helle Johannessen PhD states, “This may pose a threat to the continued development of humanities related activities in undergraduate medical education in the context to demonstrate educational effectiveness. However, the study by Ousager and Johannessen according to Catherine Belling PhD, in her published article, Commentary: Sharper instruments: On defending the humanities in undergraduate medical education, “finds a lack of research attempting to measure the long-term effects of incorporating humanities into the undergraduate medical (UME) curriculum ( 2010). Moreover, “Belling points to limitations in the study’s methodology, suggesting that the value of humanities in educating new physicians can be defended by demonstrating the need for more complex approaches to knowledge than complete dependence on empirical evidence”(2010a). In agreement, Rita Charon MD, PhD explains, “humanities in medical school curriculum has generated much...