Medical Humanities, C.M.H. / M.M.H. / D.M.H.
About the Program
Medical Humanities, in its most basic connotation, deals with the intersection of human experience, medical practice, and scientific technology. The field transcends the disciplinary boundaries of academe and engages all aspects of human culture-science, history, ethics, philosophy, literature, religion, art-in a discursive dialogue centered on what medicine means in relation to the individual and society.
The demand for professionals who understand and can convincingly synthesize the ethical, historical, and practical aspects of medicine as they relate to the implementation, control and dissemination of health care continues to grow. In our present society, where advances in science and technology often outpace our ability to understand and cope with new concepts and situations, the need for medical humanitarians is particularly acute.
The Medical Humanities program is conducted jointly by the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies at Drew University and The Raritan Bay Medical Center, an affiliate of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and UMD/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
The Core of Our Program: Medical Humanities at Drew
While many graduate and medical schools now offer a course in bioethics, the Caspersen School has chosen to go beyond a curriculum comprised solely of the “ethics of” types of courses. In addition to a required Biomedical Ethics course, all students enrolled in the Medical Humanities program must take a Medical Narrative and complete a Clinical Practicum at Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, New Jersey as part of the program requirements. This unique combination of experiences form the backbone of our program.
Biomedical Ethics allows students to explore the major medical care issues which face the discipline, including discussions of ethical and religious concerns involving abortion, death and dying, and human experimentation. In this course, students learn the language of ethics and how to break down and understand the ethical issues highlighted nightly on the evening news.
In Medical Narrative, students explore how to both “tell” and “read” the stories of illness, various narrative approaches to medical knowledge, focusing on the narrative of illness, ethics and clinical care. Students also explore the varieties of medical narrative, such as anecdote, medical history and case presentation.
The Clinical Practicum offers a hands-on experience which complements and expands classroom learning. During the course of the practicum, students attend 10 clinical sessions (supervised hospital conferences and rounds). The clinical sessions are individualized according to each student’s needs and interests. The sessions range from attending the hospital’s Bioethics Committee meeting, to a Humanities Conference, to ER observation, ICU rounds, or a Nursing Home visit. This is a seminal experience for Medical Humanities students. Often times, students use their experience in Clinical Practicum as the basis for their theses and dissertations.
The Medical Humanities Program Offers two Degrees and one Certificate:
• The Doctorate in Medical Humanities (D.MH)
• The Masters in Medical Humanities (M.MH)
• The Certificate in Medical Humanities (C.M.H.)
The Doctor of Medical Humanities (D.M.H.)
The Doctor of Medical Humanities (D.M.H.) requires the completion of twelve courses beyond the Master’s degree plus dissertation (45 credit hours) with a cumulative GPA of no less than 3.1 (on a 4.0 scale). Seven courses are required (Introduction to Medical Humanities and Humanism, Bioethics, Introduction to Narrative, Medical Anthropology, Joy of Scholarly Writing, a course in social research, and Doctoral Internship). The remaining five courses are taken as seminar electives.
All D.M.H students must prepare and successfully defend a nine-credit (for a total degree requirement of 45 credits) doctoral dissertation of 150-220 pages.
The Masters of Medical Humanities (M.M.H.)
The Masters of Medical Humanities (M.M.H.) requires the completion of ten courses plus thesis (33 credit hours) with a cumulative GPA of no less than 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Five courses are required (Introduction to Medical Humanities and Humanism, Bioethics, Introduction to Narrative, Medical Anthropology, and Masters Practicum/Internship).The remaining five courses are taken as seminar electives. Applicants who hold the C.M.H. or its equivalent from an accredited institution may be granted up to five course units (15 credit hours) of advanced standing upon application to the master’s program.
All M.M.H students must prepare a three-credit thesis of 50-75 pages.
The Certificate in Medical Humanities (C.M.H.)
The Certificate in Medical Humanities (C.M.H.) requires the completion of five courses (15 credit hours) with a cumulative GPA of no less than 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Four of the courses (Introduction to Medical Humanities and Humanism, Bioethics, Introduction to Medical Narrative, Clinical Practicum) are mandatory. The remaining course may be taken as an elective.
Students entering between Fall of 2016 and Fall 2017 may petition the Academic Standing Committee to complete the D.M.H./M.M.H./C.M.H. requirements as outlined in the 2012-2014 online archived Caspersen catalogue. Students entering between 2014 and 2016 may use MDET 820 Advanced Biomedical Ethics to complete the Bioethics requirement in all programs.