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Medical & Health Humanities

Professor with students

Change health care. Change lives. Change the world.

The Medical and Health Humanities program applies humanistic skills— critical assessment, reflective learning, collaborative problem-solving, and effective communication—to issues in healthcare and medicine and with an emphasis on cultural, familial, philosophical, spiritual, and social factors.

But what does that mean?

It means looking at health care holistically, considering not just the physical body that aches, but the person who seeks treatment, the family and friends who support that person, and the social structures that influence the person’s care. It means asking difficult questions about health care—how is disease constructed and how does that construction impact care?—and working on solutions to ensure respect and dignity within all aspects of health care. It means making a lasting difference in the world.

placement rate

 

Our program is for students who want to work in health care, but are either unsure of a specific career or want a foundation in a humanities discipline that will make them stand out and prepare them for a career that requires critical thinking and empathetic reasoning. Through its transdisciplinary structure and scaffolded experiential learning, our program challenges students to critically examine medicine and health care, and to apply their academic knowledge to practice in a meaningful and lasting manner that prepares students for leadership roles in health practice and research. 

The result?

Testimonials

It Starts At The Arch

Kevin Forsyth '18

Kevin Forsyth '18

MHH is a fantastic major. It allows students to explore the art of medicine. Students can learn about the value of a patient narrative and the concepts behind compassionate care. Additionally, it provides a space for individuals to discuss social and ethical issues in health and medicine. 

Amanda Caleb, Ph.D. - Program Director

Amanda Caleb, Ph.D.
Director, Medical & Health Humanities

What I enjoy most about teaching and directing MHH is the passion my students have to make a difference in health care and their desire to make human dignity the center point of all care. These are the student we should want at the forefront of health care--and they will be!

Ariel McPeek '19

Ariel McPeek '19

Three years later, I have gone through an internship with Geisinger’s palliative department, and I am on my way to graduate school (the first in my entire family). I truly do not think that I would be in this position if it weren’t for the staff at this University and the opportunities that the MHH program has offered me.

Testimonial Slideshow

Meet our Students

Keana Albert
Keana Albert

The flexibility of the Medical and Health Humanities program not only allowed me to follow my pre-medicine dreams, but also gave me the freedom to pursue my other passions such as: studying abroad (twice), adding a second major in Biology, and minoring in both Chemistry and Ethics. This program allows me to continually grow in ways that traditional pre-medicine programs could not. It is with the pursuit of this program that I aspire to be a person of compassion and understanding in a healthcare system that tends to be cold.

Alana Start
Alana Start

Choosing to major in Medical and Health Humanities was the best decision I could have made for myself! Our topics of study are so fascinating, and I feel as though they would be valuable to any healthcare profession. It was so important for me to find a major that allowed me to discuss health and patient care before I entered graduate school; and MHH not only gives me that opportunity, but also prepares me for far more. I get to learn about medical ethics, aging studies, eugenics and above all how not to just treat the illness, but the entire patient. Everything we learn in this major helps us to be the best healthcare professionals we can be to our patients. I know that with a Medical and Health Humanities background I am being prepared to have the sensitivity and awareness to make a difference in my future profession!

Ty'Shawn Hopkins
Ty'Shawn Hopkins

What makes Medical & Health Humanities so special is that it provides the perfect foundation for so many areas in both the health sciences and health care fields. When I was searching for schools, I knew that I wanted to go into a medical field where I could learn skills to help other people. What I never expected was to learn skills that could help people in other aspects of their life besides just physical treatment, something that other fields of medical education do not cover as well. In only my first two years, I have had the opportunity to learn so much about healthcare systems, human rights, societal and cultural influences on medicine, medical ethics, and more! After I complete my undergraduate degree in MHH, I plan on going into graduate training for physical therapy. I truly believe that the knowledge and skills I am acquiring in MHH are going to enhance my career and how I work with those in need of or receiving medical care. If you have the desire to work in either the medical field or one relating to it but are unsure of what route to take, the Medical & Health Humanities program here at Misericordia might be just the right fit for you.

Emily Boney
Emily Boney

Medical and Health Humanities is a perfect program for those who are not sure what they want to study, but are certain they want to work in the medical field. Starting my freshman year, I was positive I was going to work hard to apply and get accepted into the Pre-Physical Therapy program, but I quickly changed my mind. After finishing some classes for MHH, I was surprised by how much activity and studies went on in the medical field that others do not get to see. I fell in love with ethics as well as studying doctor-patient relationships. I hope to further my education by going to graduate school to study in Pharmacology; that way it will not only help with my studies of patients at a humanistic spectrum, but also understanding the medication that doctors could be using as well.  I always had this goal that if I was to work in the medical field that I was going to do everything in my power to help people and that is why the MHH program is a great opportunity for others. It will help students study the humanistic skills of patients along with the moral entities in an environment.

Gianna Russo
Gianna Russo

After learning about the Medical and Health Humanities major at Misericordia, I made the decision to embark on this path in my journey to the DPT program, and could not be happier today with the decision I made as a freshman. I have gained invaluable insight into patient care from various perspectives of history, literature, ethics, philosophy, and even musicology. My experience with MHH has prepared me immensely not only for graduate school, but also for my future career. I have gained knowledge regarding individual experience of illness and health that should be necessary for anyone entering this field.

Madison Finley
Madison Finley

When I was beginning to decide what my undergraduate major would be, I knew I wanted to choose something that would allow me to give the best patient care possible. Medical and Health Humanities does just that, and can be applied to any health care profession. We get to learn about many different topics such as eugenics, medical ethics, narrative medicine, and so much more! I am confident that with my background in MHH, I will be able to properly care for my patients with the respect and courtesy they deserve.

Nicole Moumblow
Nicole Moumblow

MHH has changed my life! I went into college unsure if I made the right decision going into this major and I have to say that I made one of the best decisions of my life! I've learned a lot about the healthcare system, societies, ethical issues, how to argue, and most importantly how to think critically. This major has changed my view on the world and has taught me to become more knowledgeable, as well as to think in a way that I see all sides of a situation. I've grown as a person and I've become a well-rounded individual!

Courtney Pisano
Courtney Pisano

Since I began my undergraduate degree I knew I wanted to make a difference in healthcare. I choose the Medical and Health Humanities program at Misericordia because it offered a unique approach to understanding healthcare that was different from other programs. It allows students to discuss important ethical issues and emphasizes the importance of human dignity in healthcare. The faculty is knowledgeable and always willing to help you reach your goals both academically and professionally.

Sarah Burns
Sarah Burns

Being a Medical and Health Humanities major has opened my eyes to a different side of healthcare that no other major could truly be able to fulfill. The humanities teach students to see the patient as a whole person and not just their disease or illness. It has not only expanded my education about health care ethics and patient-center care but also how to respect human dignity and value. The Medical and Health Humanities major has put me at an advantage over others because not only will I understand the medical aspect of being a health care provider, but I will be able to treat the whole patient with empathy and create a stronger doctor-patient relationship.

Dr. Amanda Caleb Interview on WVIA re: COVID-19 Pandemic

Our Medical and Health Humanities curriculum has been made possible in part by a Humanities Connections Implementation Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Contact

 
Headshot of Dr. Amanda Caleb

For more information on the Medical and Health Humanities program, contact the program director, Dr. Amanda M. Caleb, at acaleb@misericordia.edu, 570-674-8113.
For more information about our admissions process, contact us at admiss@misericordia.edu or 1-866-262-6363.