Medical Humanities


A growing number of the nation’s top students are attracted to OU’s Honors College each year by the Medical Humanities Program. The program has two parts. First, the Medical Humanities Scholars Program is a highly competitive, sequential B.A./M.D. program offered to incoming Honors students. Second, the Medical Humanities Minor is a minor open to all OU students with a 3.4 or higher grade point average. Both Medical Humanities Scholars and students minoring in Medical Humanities design unique interdisciplinary programs that enrich their study of medicine with classes in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.


Medical humanities is defined broadly to include the ethical, literary, anthropological, sociological, spiritual, and historical dimensions of disease, health, and healing. The Honors College at OU advocates the study of the humanities and social sciences to expand students’ understanding of humankind and the medical profession’s place in it. The ultimate goal is to create culturally savvy, clinically sophisticated providers of health care. The humanities and social sciences offer students tools for evaluating the past, present, and future of the healing arts and sciences and for understanding the evolving role of medicine in society.


The Medical Humanities Program is now in its 18th year. This year the B.A.-M.D. arm of the program attracted 180 applicants from 31 states but could accept only seven of these exceptional students. Meanwhile, the Medical Humanities Minor has grown from just five students in its first year to 45 students today. Both parts of the program offer motivated and high-achieving students from Oklahoma and the nation the individual mentoring, stimulating curriculum, and early clinical experiences they desire. “Brain-drain” has historically been a problem for Oklahoma. The Medical Humanities Program helps reverse the situation by attracting top out-of-state students interested in the “human side” of medical care to Oklahoma.  Many of these students stay in Oklahoma after graduation to practice medicine.


Help us attract, train, and retain the best medical minds. At some point in life, we all will call upon the expertise of skilled healthcare practitioners. The Medical Humanities Program equips and strengthens the qualifications of students contemplating careers in medicine, nursing, dentistry, genetics, law, and social work. With your support, we can increase the number of students accepted and provide the resources needed for this exciting interdisciplinary program administered through the OU Honors College and OU College of Medicine.

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