Honors Medical Humanities Cohort


This year the Honors Department launched the Medical Humanities Learning Cohort, a four-year sequence for Honors students interested in careers in the medical field. The Cohort seeks to provide these students with a framework for intelligent thinking through questions of medical ethics. As medical schools are looking for applicants who are engaged in both humanistic and scientific study, this Cohort rounds out both the students’ educations and post-graduate applications.

The Medical Humanities Cohort threads students’ study of health, disability, suffering, research, and quality of life through the context of other disciplines, like philosophy, literature, theology, and political science. This rich, intersectional understanding of the “humanities side” of medical practice prepares students to address ethical dilemmas that health care professionals necessarily encounter in the workplace.

            We asked Freshman Joelle Schauer about her experience in the Cohort. A big benefit of being a member of the Cohort is the communal aspect of it. “I love the Medical Humanities Cohort,” she said, “It is great to have a community of friends who share your passion and are there to support you as we all experience similar challenges.” She also appreciates how it opens up the pre-med track to a wide range of disciplines: “We have gone on multiple field trips together focusing on medicine in forms other than is usually thought of, including art and rare collectibles.” These, in addition to pushing themselves to thinking about the world in both philosophical and personal terms in their ACS class has encouraged them “to work to find truth and goodness in [themselves] and the world around [them]: a lesson that will be extremely important as [they] pursue a career in medicine.” The pre-med track, recognized as a very rigorous course of studies, appears less daunting when surrounded by the friendships formed in the Cohort; Joelle explains, “We have all grown super close these past two semesters, and I’m excited to face the next three years with them!”


Written by Newsletter Co-Editor, Laura Spence '18 CLAS. Laura is receiving a degree in Humanities & Classics. 

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