Medical Humanities

Medical Humanities
https://humanities.rice.edu/academics/programs/medical-humanities
116 Humanities Building
713-348-4548

Kirsten Ostherr
Program Director
kostherr@rice.edu

Medical Humanities is an interdisciplinary field that examines medicine through humanistic disciplines such as history, ethics, religion, literature, cultural anthropology, media studies, and the visual and dramatic arts. Students in the minor will learn about medical systems and practices using methodologies such as close reading, cultural comparison, historical contextualization, creative expression, and critical thinking. The field is committed to interpretive and qualitative work that explores the human dimensions of experiences of health and illness, for doctors and for patients. The Medical Humanities minor is an interdisciplinary course of study, housed in the School of Humanities.

Medical Humanities does not currently offer an academic program at the graduate level.

Director and Advisor

Kirsten Ostherr

Professors

Marcia Brennan
Tony N. Brown
James D. Faubion
Eugenia Georges
Bridget K. Gorman
Vivian Ho
Rachel Tolbert Kimbro
Anne C. Klein 
Kirsten Ostherr
Rebecca Richards-Kortum
Kamala Visweswaran

Associate Professors

Martin Blumenthal-Barby
Deborah A. Harter
Gisela Heffes
Moramay López-Alonso
Fabiola López-Durán

Assistant Professors

Niki Clements
Lan Li
Vida Yao

Lecturer

Beverly Mitchell

Adjunct Lecturer

Melissa Bailar

Steering Committee

Marcia Brennan
Eugenia Georges
Lan Li
Moramay López-Alonso
Kirsten Ostherr
Rebecca Richards-Kortum
Zoë Wool
Vida Yao

For Rice University degree-granting programs:
To view the list of official course offerings, please see Rice’s Course Catalog
To view the most recent semester’s course schedule, please see Rice's Course Schedule

Medical Humanities (MDHM) 

MDHM 201 - INTRODUCTION TO MEDICAL HUMANITIES

Short Title: INTRO TO MEDICAL HUMANITIES

Department: Medical Humanities

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Distribution Group: Distribution Group I

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Lower-Level

Description: Examines the history of medicine, concepts of disease vs illness, narrative medicine, health disparities, religion, spirituality, and the role of science and technology on the practices of healthcare. Students will develop skills in close reading, interpretation, historical contextualization, critical thinking. This course (formerly HURC 201) is required for the minor in Medical Humanities. Mutually Exclusive with HURC 201. Credit cannot be earned for both HURC 201 and MDHM 201. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for MDHM 201 if student has credit for HURC 201.

MDHM 238 - SPECIAL TOPICS

Short Title: SPECIAL TOPICS

Department: Medical Humanities

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Laboratory, Internship/Practicum, Lecture, Seminar, Independent Study, Lecture/Laboratory

Credit Hours: 1-4

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Lower-Level

Description: Topics and credit hours may vary each semester. Contact department for current semester’s topic(s). Repeatable for Credit.

MDHM 306 - HEALTH AND HUMANITIES MASTER CLASS

Short Title: HEALTH AND HUMANITIES MC

Department: Medical Humanities

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Faculty from Rice University, University of Texas School of Public health, and University of Houston, as well as practitioners in the Texas Medical Center, will lead class discussions on different aspects of the health industry today. The class will meet Tuesday evenings at the McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science and at Rice Thursdays. Students will read essays, case studies, and fiction or watch films to prepare for each discussion. Formerly offered as HURC 306. Mutually exclusive with HURC 306. Credit cannot be earned for both HURC 306 and MDHM 306. Instructor Permission Required.

MDHM 402 - HEALTH, HUMANISM AND SOCIETY SCHOLARS MEDICAL HUMANITIES PRACTICUM 1 (1 YR SEQUENCE)

Short Title: HHASS MED HUM PRACTICUM 1

Department: Medical Humanities

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Internship/Practicum

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Students are matched with medical humanities research projects in TMC. Students conduct 6-8 hours of research per week under guidance of on-site supervisor and follow curriculum under guidance of Rice faculty, developing skills for careers after graduation. Yearlong sequence continues as MDHM 403 in spring. Must have completed at least 9 credit hours in a humanities discipline for course eligibility. Instructor Permission Required. Recommended Prerequisite(s): Humanities or Social Science Major Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for MDHM 402 if student has credit for HUMA 402.

MDHM 403 - HEALTH, HUMANISM AND SOCIETY SCHOLARS MEDICAL HUMANITIES PRACTICUM 2 (1 YR SEQUENCE)

Short Title: HHASS MED HUM PRACTICUM 2

Department: Medical Humanities

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Internship/Practicum

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): MDHM 402 or HUMA 402

Description: Students are matched with medical humanities research projects in TMC. Students conduct 6-8 hours of research per week under guidance of on-site supervisor and follow curriculum under guidance of Rice faculty, developing skills for careers after graduation. Continuation of MDHM 402 as yearlong sequence. Instructor Permission Required. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for MDHM 403 if student has credit for HUMA 403.

MDHM 430 - HEALTH, HUMANISM AND SOCIETY SCHOLARS MEDICAL HUMANITIES PRACTICUM (ONE SEMESTER)

Short Title: HHASS 1-SEM MED HUM PRACTICUM

Department: Medical Humanities

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Internship/Practicum

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: This research-based course is conducted in partnership with health institutions in Houston. Qualified and advanced students apply for or develop projects in specific research areas and work 6-8 hours per week on site with health professionals, archivists, and center directors. Students follow curriculum under guidance of Rice faculty and meet regularly to discuss research and develop skills for careers after graduation. Must have completed at least 9 credit hours in a humanities discipline for course eligibility. Instructor Permission Required. Recommended Prerequisite(s): MDHM 201. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for MDHM 430 if student has credit for HURC 430. Repeatable for Credit.

MDHM 477 - SPECIAL TOPICS

Short Title: SPECIAL TOPICS

Department: Medical Humanities

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Internship/Practicum, Lecture, Laboratory, Seminar

Credit Hours: 1-4

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Topics and credit hours may vary each semester. Contact department for current semester's topic(s). Repeatable for Credit.

Description and Code Legend

Note: Internally, the university uses the following descriptions, codes, and abbreviations for this academic program. The following is a quick reference: 

Course Catalog/Schedule 

  • Course offerings/subject codes: MDHM

Program Description and Code

  • Medical Humanities: MDHM 

Undergraduate Minor Description and Code

  • Minor in Medical Humanities: MDHM 

CIP Code and Description1

  • MDHM Minor: CIP Code/Title: 51.3204 - Medical/Health Humanities