ERIC Number: ED261606
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
The Place of the Humanities in Medicine.
Cassell, Eric J.
The contribution of the humanities to medicine is considered, with attention to the classic view, existing programs in medical school, and obstacles to continued or increased participation by the humanities. A shift is occurring in medicine toward a primary concern for sick persons, instead of disease alone. Specific values of teaching literature, historical referents, philosophy, the tools of teaching, communication skills, and reasoning are identified. Literature offers the opportunity to see the interplay of illness and persons, including the role of physicians in the lives of others and the perception of physicians by laypersons. In addition to providing a historical context for viewing medicine and science, history provides a methodology and understanding of time and process. Teaching doctors how to think about both the body and about persons (i.e., the objective and subjective, data and values) in formulating patient care goals allows them to integrate knowledge of medical science, the body, and the everyday life and function of individual sick persons. It is argued that medicine has demands to make of the humanities that may exceed what humanists are willing to or able to offer. In the process of meeting medicine's changing needs, humanities' view of their own nature and function may also change. (SW)
Descriptors: Communication Skills, Helping Relationship, Higher Education, History Instruction, Humanities Instruction, Individual Needs, Interpersonal Competence, Life Style, Literature, Logical Thinking, Medical Education, Medical Evaluation, Patients, Philosophy, Physician Patient Relationship, Teaching Skills, Well Being
The Hastings Center, 360 Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706 ($7.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Hastings Center, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.