“Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest non-governmental source of funds for biomedical research, [. . .] now takes the medical humanities very seriously. In 2013, the grant funding and direct charitable expenditure of the trust was more than £700 million, and the Wellcome Foundation Strategic Plan 2010-20 “supports medical humanities research”. The journal Medical Humanities is well established and Niall Boyce’s The Lancet Psychiatry has recently been launched. Boyce, himself a novelist, sees the journal in part as a point of focus for debate about the relationship between psychiatry and the humanities. These are only two of a large number of journals involved in the medical humanities.
Over the same period, courses have appeared in universities both in the UK and abroad. More than a dozen universities in the UK embrace the field and most undergraduate medical programmes offer either mandatory or optional courses in one or more humanities subjects at some point in the degree. A number of master’s courses are also coming on stream. An initiative at the University of Oxford that aims to produce the world’s largest forum for medical humanities and to provide an unparalleled resource for public and professional engagement describes the area as “a richly diverse field of scholarship which draws on disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and the arts. As well as providing insights into one of the most basic and universal of human concerns, these disciplines can inform the science and practice of medicine.” In November 2013, St Anne’s College, Oxford, in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, launched its Centre for Personalised Medicine, which will embrace medicine, genomics, law, economics and ethics.
Why the Medical Humanities Are On the Rise
December 21, 2015 | 0 Comments