The Dr. Dennis J. Patterson
Center for the Health Professions



Patterson Center

» Medical Humanities Minor

Medical Humanities Minor

The medical humanities minor is designed to serve as a basis for the development and understanding of the skills and attributes associated with humanistic health care delivery. The term "medical humanities" refers to a study of the aspects of health care delivery which include ethical considerations in the provider-client relationship, as well as the humanistic components essential to good health care delivery, such as effective communication, integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect for clients and colleagues, empathy, and service. The minor is open to any student interested in the discourse between medicine, science, and care giving as a humane and humanistic art. The medical humanities minor has become one way for students applying to professional health care programs to distinguish themselves from other applicants.

Objectives of the Minor

  • To heighten in students an awareness and appreciation of the varied ways human beings create and struggle with meaning and purpose in their lives, especially as they face illness, adversity, suffering, and death.
  • To engage students in a course of study (beyond the essential scientific information and clinical skills) that brings together academic, clinical, and service experiences which attend to the central concepts and practices in the medical humanities.
  • To involve students in well-informed ethical decision making, improve their ability to interact with persons of different backgrounds and cultures, and provide them an active introduction to research and clinical experience.
  • To expose students to diverse perspectives which scholars from many fields bring to complex questions involving health care and the health professions.

The following courses can contribute toward a minor in medical humanities:

Required Core Courses (four courses)

  • PHL 316 Ethical Aspects of Health Care or REL 332 Religious Ethics and Health Care
  • COM 114 Interpersonal Communication or COM 315 Intercultural Communication
  • MEH 490 Medical Humanities Clinical Experience (1/2 credit)
  • MEH 491 Medical Humanities Seminar/Research Capstone (1/2 credit)

Electives (three courses are required--all from different disciplines)

  • BID 300 Neuroethics
  • ENG 230 Readings in Race, Class, and Gender
  • ENG 372 Multicultural/Postcolonial Literature
  • MEH 320 Quality and Safety in Healthcare
  • MEH 321 Enhancing Healthcare Through Our Stories
  • PHL 305 Philosophy of Science
  • PHL 326 Key Themes and Thinkers in Biomedicine
  • PSY 348 Health Psychology
  • SOC 216/316 Society, Health, and Illness
  • REL 331 Religious Ethics and Human Sexuality
  • REL 323 Religion and Science

MEH electives must be selected from three different departments and no more than two can be counted toward the Integrated Curriculum. At least three of the minor courses must be taken at the 300/400 level. Further information is listed in the Elmhurst College course book including prerequisites to any courses.

Students who have completed the MEH minor have majored in various disciplines and pursued several different health professions including: medicine, physician assistant studies, occupational therapy, veterinary medicine, and health care administration to name a few. The clinical experience (internship) is an important aspect of the minor. Some of the clinical sites are listed below.

  • Edward Hospital and Health Services
  • Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare
  • Evanston Hospital
  • HCR ManorCare
  • Norma Jean Sanders Free Clinic
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Silver Cross Hospital

Students interested in the medical humanities minor can contact the Patterson Center ( to learn more.
Share |

Follow Us: Flickr YouTube Instagram

Elmhurst College • 190 Prospect Avenue • Elmhurst, Illinois 60126-3296 • (630) 279-4100 or (630) 617-3500


Undergraduate Admission • (630) 617-3400 • (800) 697-1871 •


School for Professional Studies • (630) 617-3300 • (800) 581-4723 •


Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy Admission • (630) 617-3752 •


Presidential Search •


Technical Support