The Centre for Medical Humanities, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, England

Acad Med. 2003 Oct;78(10):1048-53. doi: 10.1097/00001888-200310000-00023.


The Centre for Medical Humanities is based within the Royal Free and University College Medical School. With a student body of more than 2,000, this large United Kingdom medical school benefits from being a fully integrated component of University College London. With its strong humanities and science faculties, University College London was founded more than 175 years ago to make education available to wider social and religious groups. With this background, it is logistically and ideologically well suited to sustaining a medical humanities program. The Centre's aims are to raise awareness of the field of medical humanities, to develop resources for the academic and teaching communities, and to build a broad and well-grounded educational program supported by sound educational principles and innovative research. Since 1998, the Centre and its predecessor, the Medical Humanities Unit, which was established by a group of medical educators with a diverse range of interests in the arts and humanities, has built interdisciplinary links and collaborative relationships with individuals and institutions within the university and beyond, nationally and internationally. These links and relationships have provided invaluable contributions and stimulus to the Centre's activities. The undergraduate educational program described in this article includes core and optional teaching throughout the curriculum, and a 1-year intercalated Bachelor of Science in Medical Humanities degree. For postgraduates, the Centre offers the United Kingdom's first continuing professional development accredited 2-day course in medical humanities, and an annual residential retreat open only to graduates of the course.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / organization & administration*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / trends
  • Humanities / education*
  • London
  • Schools, Medical* / organization & administration
  • Schools, Medical* / statistics & numerical data