Medical Humanities

Medical Humanities
https://hrc.rice.edu/medicalhumanities/
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.

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

Director and Advisor

Kirsten Ostherr

Professors

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

Associate Professors

Deborah A. Harter
Moramay López-Alonso

Assistant Professors

Niki Clements
Lan Li
Zoë Wool
Vida Yao

Lecturers

Beverly Mitchell
John Mulligan

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: 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: 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 Lower-Level

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

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: Humanities and social science students are matched with medical humanities research projects in TMC. Students conduct research 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. Instructor Permission Required. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for MDHM 402 if student has credit for HUMA 402. Repeatable for Credit.

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: Humanities and social science students are matched with medical humanities research projects in TMC. Students conduct research 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. Repeatable for Credit.

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 work 10 hours/week on site with health professionals, archivists, center directors, and others to develop projects in specific research areas. Students meet regularly with instructor to discuss research and to present work at an end of semester symposium. 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: 30.2701 - Human Biology