"Humanities are the hormones of medicine." William Osler
Humanities (literature, art, theater, film, history, ethics, and music) provide powerful insights into the human condition. In various forms these disciplines contribute to a fuller, more considered understanding of what being human means. Stories and images describe how we respond to ordinary and cataclysmic events in our lives as experienced by patients, family members, physicians, friends, and neighbors.
Throughout history, storytelling and medicine have been synergistic allies, complementary agents for gaining perspective and understanding. From Homer to Jean-Dominic Bauby to Perri Klass, visual and verbal stories that reference human dilemmas, whether within a strict medical context or not, define who we are as human beings on our shared journeys from birth to death.
For you will learn to see most acutely out
of the corner of your eye
to hear best with your inner ear
For there are late signs and early signs
For the patient's story will come to you.
-John Stone, Physician-Writer
Students in this scholarly concentration consider stories narrated by others in novels, film, and art. In addition to their work at the College of Medicine, they will come to know the Tampa Theater, Tampa Museum, Dali Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Asolo Theater, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, etc. Students keep reflective journals and choose creative projects relating to aging and art, for example, or, with guidance, whatever focus they choose. They may arrange special exhibits, film nights at the Tampa Museum, and meetings with visiting writers such as Sam Shem or Abraham Verghese.