The clinical medical humanities program at Loyola University of Chicago

Acad Med. 1989 Dec;64(12):735-9. doi: 10.1097/00001888-198912000-00009.


The authors emphasize that an effective medical humanities program must be based on clinically oriented training. They then describe in detail such a program at Loyola University of Chicago Medical Center; the program consists of a four-year required curriculum that is clinically reinforced by having the students accompany attending physicians on rounds and is taught by faculty representing a wide range of disciplines in medicine and other fields. The paper offers several guidelines to the person or persons who would organize and direct a clinical medical humanities program, describes obstacles that the Loyola program faced when it was getting started, presents the purpose, focus, and curricular topics of the program, and discusses its future. The authors conclude that the use of the clinically oriented approach will continue to prevail in medical humanities teaching, both at Loyola and in medical humanities programs overall. This approach challenges good teachers to make their best efforts at reconciling their own disciplines with that of medicine; in this process, a new medical humanities discipline emerges that is not so much an application of the humanities to medicine as it is an evocation of humanities themes from the clinical encounter itself.

MeSH terms

  • Chicago
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical*
  • Ethical Analysis
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Humanities*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Schools, Medical
  • Theology