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Putting humanity in healthcare

June 15, 2017
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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West Virginia University students can learn the humanity of medicine.

Starting in fall 2017, the university will offer a new minor in medical humanities and health studies from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. The interdisciplinary minor focuses on social and cultural aspects that make medicine as much an art as it is sciences.

“The minor draws on a wide range of fields that allow students to understand health, illness and care not only as issues rooted in the technical and scientific knowledge but also as issues with significant social and cultural dimensions,” said Catherine Gouge, associate professor of English and the minor’s lead adviser in a press release. “Such understanding is vital for the next generation of healthcare participants, especially as political debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act intensifies.”

The 15-credit minor requires six credit hours of core coursework and nine credit hours of electives, including health communication, literature of the human body, public policy of aging, healthcare ethics and society and health.

“The medical humanities and health studies minor is emphasizing from an early stage that the true purpose of healthcare is to treat people,” said Josef Heller, a senior biochemistry major from Beckley. “The human aspect of patient care cannot be overlooked.”

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