Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine
The mission of the Department of Humanities is to advance humanism in medicine and society.
When the Penn State College of Medicine opened its doors in 1967, the Department of Humanities was one of its founding departments.
In fact, it was the first Department of Humanities ever to be included in a college of medicine in the United States.
As the oldest such department in the country, the faculty in Humanities have long been engaged in a wide variety of innovative educational, scholarly, service and community-focused endeavors.
The department consists of 10 core and 23 joint faculty members, many of whom are also front-line physicians. The department has expertise in fields as diverse as anthropology, literature and pedagogy. The department also leads the Ethics Consultation Service for the Health Science Center.
Collectively, we pursue scholarship to advance knowledge, improve teaching, and contribute to our community on local, national and international levels. As teachers and scholars, we look at the world of medicine through the eyes of our respective humanities disciplines; these have included anthropology, history, literature, philosophy, psychology, and religion. We describe and analyze aspects of medicine from these disciplinary vantage points to gain insights into, and a more complete understanding of, the practice and organization of medicine.
Bernice L. Hausman, PhD
Humanities Department Chair
Penn State College of Medicine
More about Humanities @ Penn State
- Faculty Directory
- Humanities Up Close
- Advance Directives Project
- Center Stage
- Humanities First Fridays
- The Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine
- Graphic Narratives
- iLook Out for Child Abuse
- Patients as Teachers Project
- Qualitative Research Initiative
- Snapshots of Strength
- Wild Onions
Advance Directives Project
Dr. Michael Green and Dr. Benjamin Levi developed an interactive, computer-based decision aid for advance care planning. The online tool allows generates a personalized advance directive that can be saved as a PDF file.
Since 2009, fourth-year medical students at Penn State College of Medicine have created comics as part of a course called “Graphic Storytelling and Medical Narratives.” The course was developed to show students how graphics and text can be used to effectively communicate complex medical narratives, and to help students develop their own stories into graphic depictions. Each student produces a short, original graphic narrative or comic during the class.
Latest from Humanities
- Reimagining the Cape: Exploring New Metaphors for Emerging Medical Professionals.Green MJ. Ann Intern Med 2019 Feb 5;170(3):205-206 No abstract available.
- Patient Preference to Accept Medical Treatment Is Associated with Spokesperson Agreement.Foy AJ, Levi BH, Van Scoy LJ, Bucher A, Dimmock A, Green MJ. Ann Am Thorac Soc 2019 Feb 4 : 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201806-428RL. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.
- Is research on professional identity formation biased? Early insights from a scoping review and metasynthesis.Volpe RL, Hopkins M, Haidet P, Wolpaw DR, Adams NE. Med Educ 2019 Feb;53(2):119-132 Review.
- Advance Care Planning Among Patients With Advanced Cancer.Schubart JR, Levi BH, Bain MM, Farace E, Green MJ. J Oncol Pract 2019 Jan;15(1):e65-e73