The Medicine, Health and Culture interdisciplinary minor explores and critiques traditional, historical and contemporary paradigms of medical care, and explores the intricacies of health and healing.
Because health and disease impact the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—particular attention is paid to the notions of care from social, psychological, cultural, religious, historical, economic, legal and philosophical perspectives, among others. The minor offers students acquaintance with the resources of a variety of disciplines, ideological perspectives, methodologies, and cultural traditions to foster growth in the knowledge, wisdom, sensitivity, and compassion necessary to promote responsible and humane health care and to lend insight into the difficulties and complexities of illness, health, and the body.
This minor will provide students the opportunity to explore health, medicine, wellness, illness, and the body from multiple perspectives and methodologies. These topics are not only of interest to those who wish to pursue careers in medicine and health care, but also to those who wish to expand their knowledge of policy, law, psychology, economics, religion, sociology, culture, technology, and the social world. It acknowledges that the issues it explores are important for all fields of study because our students are already and will continue to be impacted by health policy, the economic implications of health care delivery, and by social constructions of health and illness. Furthermore, the minor demonstrates that all human beings, regardless of race, culture, gender, ethnicity, or age will at some point in their life be faced with issues related to health, the body, and eventually mortality, and will assume the role of patient, caregiver, and consumer of health care resources. Other important questions that are faced by all persons include the challenges of technology and the culture of medicine.