Medical Humanities and Literary Medicine: Guest Post by Brandy Schillace

Centre for Medical Humanities Blog

Medical Humanities and Literary Medicine
Brandy Schillace, PhD
Managing Editor, Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry

The designation “medical humanities” is a relatively new one. The British Medical Journal began its run 38 volumes ago, followed closely by The Journal of Medical Humanities (published by Springer) 34 volumes ago. But though these publications began in the late seventies, medical humanities did not really enter the popular lexicon until the internet age. It might be argued that the field is still not widely understood, though it has been gaining popularity (and programs and press) since the late nineties, branching into health and humanities, appearing as part of bio-ethics programs, and required as coursework at medical schools. Most choose to define the term broadly. The New York University School of Medicine considers it “an interdisciplinary field of humanities (literature, philosophy, ethics, history and religion), social science (anthropology, cultural studies, psychology, sociology), and the arts…

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