University Library at St. Cloud State University

ENGL 191 Introduction to Rhetorical & Analytical Writing - Narrative Medicine (Veeder)

Definition of Medical Humanities

"Medical humanities is an interdisciplinary field of medicine which includes the humanities (literature, philosophy, ethics, history and religion), social science (anthropology, cultural studies, psychology, sociology, health geography) and the arts (literature, theater, film, and visual arts) and their application to medical education and practice. Medical humanities is also defined as an interdisciplinary, and increasingly international endeavor that draws on the creative and intellectual strengths of diverse disciplines, including literature, art, creative writing, drama, film, music, philosophy, ethical decision making, anthropology, and history, in pursuit of medical educational goals."

Medical Humanities. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 28, 2013, from

University of California, SanFrancisco

The Medical Humanities engage students and healthcare professionals in learning, scholarship, and creative practice to better understand, hear, and care for the profound effects of illness and disease on patients and their caregivers. Our programs include foundations in Narrative Medicine, History of Medicine, Medical Anthropology, Ethics, Cultural Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Economics, Literature, and the Creative Arts, such as Writing, Film, and Visual Art. Brought together, these endeavors shape advances in interprofessional collaboration, communication, and interpretive skill, to foster humility and improve the quality of delivered care. "

University of California, San Francisco. (2014). UCSF Medical Humanities. Retrieved May 18, 2016, from
Medical Humanities and Narrative Medicine
Why Study Narrative? British Medical Journal
  • "The narrative provides meaning, context, and perspective for the patient's predicament. It defines how, why, and in what way he or she is ill. The study of narrative offers a possibility of developing an understanding that cannot be arrived at by any other means."
Interacting with the Medical Humanities - Georgetown University
  • "Clinical medicine is about patients. Here you will meet all sorts of patients—patients telling their stories; patients expressing themselves through theater, dance and poetry; imaginary patients, dying patients, patients in pieces and patients seeking to become whole."
Narrative Medicine A Model for Empathy, Reflection, Profession, and Trust - Rita Charon, MD, PhD
  • "With narrative competence, physicians can reach and join their patients in illness, recognize their own personal journeys through medicine, acknowledge kinship with and duties toward other health care professionals, and inaugurate consequential discourse with the public about health care."
Our Heads Touch: Telling and Litsening to our stories of self - Rita Charon, MD, PhD
  • "The author places the feature within the context of a growing movement within health care to improve reflective practice through the practice of reflective writing and reading."
Humanities in Medicine Programs
College of Medicine Program in Medical Humanities -  University of Arizona
  • Contains links to narrative writing, programs, and their speaker series
Literature, Arts, and Medicine Blog -  New York University School of Medicine
  • A blog which is linked to the NYU Literature, Arts, amd Medicine Database. It serves as a "forum for scholarly discussions of ongoing projects"
Medical Humanities - New York University School of Medicine
  • "This site, established in 1994 at New York University School of Medicine, is dedicated to providing a resource for scholars, educators, students, patients, and others who are interested in the work of medical humanities."
Medical Humanities - University of California, San Francisco
  • Includes narrative medicine, medical humanities, medical anthrpology, etc...focus on meaning (through the humanities.
 Health and Humanities - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • "An Interdisciplinary Venue for Exploration"
Program in Bioethics and Humanities - University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
  • "The Program's mission is to advance a rigorous understanding of human health and healthcare through knowledge gained from bioethics, the medical humanities, and related disciplines."
  • Humanities Distinction Track -
The Program in Narrative Medicine - Columbia University
  • "Through narrative training, the Program in Narrative Medicine helps physicians, nurses, social workers, mental health professionals, chaplains, social workers, academics, and all those interested in the intersection between narrative and medicine improve the effectiveness of care by developing these skills with patients and colleagues."
Survive and Thrive: It Starts With the Heart - a conference & arts festival for the medical humanities (2017)

We are dedicated to improving the odds of survival and living well through education. We are committed to engendering and facilitating restorative therapies for the sick and injured, their caretakers, families, and medical professionals. We welcome all who are dedicated to saving lives and the aesthetic experience in healing regardless of the kind of illness or injury.

The Examined Life Conference - writing, humanities, and the art of medicine

The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine will host a three-day conference focusing on the links between the science of medicine and the art of writing.  
Humanities, Narrative & Bioethics Resources
  • Links to a wide variety ethics resources.  Excellent resources for bioethics issues and hot topics.
Bioethics Forum
  • "Diverse commentary on issues in bioethics" Includes links to journal articles"
The Department of Bioethics - National Institutes of Health
  • "Bioethics Resources on the Web offers easy access to key documents and references in the field."
Lit Med Magazine
  • "This blog is linked to and is an extension of The NYU School of Medicine medical humanitie LitMed: Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database. It is intended to be a forum for scholarly discussion of ongoing projects in medical, nursing, premedical, graduate, and postgraduate education and research that use the humanities, social sciences, and the arts to address current issues in medicine and bioscience- from a variety of perspectives."
Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine
  • "Publishing personal accounts of illness and healing, fostering the humanistic practice of medicine, and encouraging healthcare advocacy."
Stories in Family Medicine: The College of Family Physicians of Canada
  • "These are our stories about the meaning of being a family physician, and the contributions of family medicine and family physicians to the history of medicine, health care and life in Canada."
Course Instructor
Rex Veeder, Ph.D.
Professor, English Department
51 Building 114
​(320) 308-3189
Subject Specialist
Picture: Cindy Gruwell

Cindy Gruwell
Professor, Research Librarian
MC 140D
(320) 308-1508

Search for Books
Academic Search Premier
Academic Research - Bioethics Databases
BELIT - Bioethics Literature Database
  • "BELIT provides access to approx. 470,000 records from the integrated German, American and French databases."
  • A group of ethics databases from Europe and the United States
    Note: each databases may also be searched individually - See more at:
    A group of ethics databases from Europe and the U.S.
Bioethics Research Library at Georgetown University
  • "Journal articles, book chapters, bills, laws, court decisions, reports, books, audiovisuals, and news articles relating to bioethics and professional ethics covering 1974-2009." Note: Identify resources and then check SCSU databases to see if we have them in our collection.
LitMed: Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database
  • "The Literature, Arts, & Medicine Database is an annotated multimedia listing of prose, poetry, film, video and art that was developed to be a dynamic, accessible, comprehensive resource for teaching and research in MEDICAL HUMANITIES, and for use in health/pre-health, graduate and undergraduate liberal arts and social science settings."

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