Davidson's Medical Humanities Program promotes an interdisciplinary perspective of health and health care. It enables you to appreciate the strengths and limits of the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities as they seek to explain and to achieve a measure of control over disease, illness and suffering. The concentration helps you grasp how legal, economic, and political institutions influence the production, distribution and delivery of health care services, provides you with a foundation in epidemiological principles, and teaches you how to evaluate and apply the principles of scientific integrity.
Medical humanities courses emphasize the role ethical values play in defining problems as "medical," the worth of scientific study, and the call for mobilization of social as well as individual resources. The courses help you develop the analytical skills that permit clear thinking and writing about the complex tradeoffs involved in developing, using and paying for health care.
In 1990, Davidson College and the Carolinas Healthcare System joined in a formal agreement to cooperate and share resources toward the common betterment of health care, the education and training of physicians and improved understanding of the relationship between medicine and society. Under the auspices of this agreement, we enjoy access to an expanded range of educational opportunities that only a large teaching hospital can provide.
The Medical Humanities Program brings noted speakers to campus, administers a healthcare professionals in residence program, cooperates closely with the pre-medical program, and organizes conferences to promote public discussion of humanistic issues in health care. Davidson's Medical Humanities Program also works cooperatively with the Area Health Education Centers. These activities offer students opportunities to gain valuable experience working cooperatively with state, local, and national healthcare organizations.