The medical humanities is an interdisciplinary field that uses the methods of the arts and social sciences to contextualise, complement, and critique the biomedical understanding of human nature, health and well-being, and associated health-care practices. The intercalated programme is an opportunity for MBChB students to develop their medical and professional expertise through a sustained encounter with the understanding of medical and health related topics developed within the traditions of the arts and social sciences.
Students have the opportunity to learn from a diverse range of subject groups within the Colleges of Arts and Social Sciences in order to construct a package of Honours courses suitable to their own particular needs and interests. A mandatory medical humanities dissertation gives the opportunity for an extended investigation of a medical or health related topic. Engagement with the concerns of the arts and social sciences will allow medical students to further develop the non-biomedical dimensions of their professional attributes and competences, such as the doctor-patient relationship, cultural competence, and respect for patient autonomy.
In this interview, medical student Alexander Burman discusses his experience of the intercalated BSc in Medical Humanities.