Saint Louis University

Leonardo da Vinci, Vitruvian Man, c. 1490

Medical Humanities: An Undergraduate Minor
at Saint Louis University

The Medical Humanities Interdisciplinary Minor enhances preparation for careers in medicine and health sciences by introducing students to works of literature, art, and history that portray complex human experiences and conflicting values in patients and caregivers. This program integrates core courses and elective courses in English, History, Philosophy, Theological Studies, Art History, Medical Sociology, and Health Communication.


Medical Humanities emerged as a distinctive field in the 1970s when Joanne Trautmann Banks first compiled a database on "Medicine and Literature." There are now Medical Humanities programs in schools around the world, including a Ph.D. program at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. However, the skills and understanding promoted by Medical Humanities programs are more complex than can be satisfactorily addressed in the context of graduate study alone, so the learning required must begin at the undergraduate level in a systematic study of medical values.


Our program is open to any undergraduates interested in multicultural perspectives on health care and is especially appropriate for those planning a career in medicine, medical law, health care, or social service, and humanities majors
interested in related fields, such as patient advocacy, or research in and applications of narrative medicine, historical and
cultural studies of medicine, medical ethics, and art, music, or narrative therapies.

Please take a moment to peruse our program requirements. If the Medical Humanities Minor Program appeals to you, please contact program director Dr. Anne Stiles ( to further discuss the prospect of enrollment.  If you would like to enroll, please run off a copy of the advising form, fill it out and submit it to Dr. Stiles, who will serve as your program advisor.




Thank you for your interest in this exciting program at Saint Louis University.