Fourth-Year Electives Offered
At this time, the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics offers two fourth-year electives. The first, Humanistic Elements of Medicine is offered in the months of February and October of each academic year:
Humanistic Elements of Medicine
Initially designed for students participating in the Certificate Program, this course is available to all fourth-year students interested in an elective that addresses a number of topics relating to the medical humanities. Some of these topics include, but are not limited to, ethical, philosophical, social, and legal dimensions of health care; perspectives on the doctor/patient relationship; and the spiritual dimensions of health care. As part of this course, all students are required to prepare a senior project. This course is taught in seminar-style each day in the months of February and October, with faculty of the McGovern Center facilitating discussion.
The second fourth-year elective offered by the McGovern Center focuses on the mental illness and is held in May.
Pathographies of Mental Illness
Developed from a blue book elective of the same name, this elective offered to fourth-year students each May focuses on the meaning of mental illness. Students have the opportunity to study written pathographies of mental illness, such as Sylvia Nasar's A Beautiful Mind, Lionel Dahmer's A Father's Son, and William Styron's Darkness Visible. The course is reading intensive, but also features film pathographies based on the required texts and background material provided through The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, or the DSM.
Students taking the course will be able to:
- Articulate the significance of a "memoir approach" to understanding mental illness;
- Apply theoretical insights from medical humanities to a memoir of mental illness;
- Identify moral and ethical issues in a particular memoir of mental illness;
- Describe how writing about mental illness helps sufferers to make meaning of mental illness; and
- Reflect on how you think that reading pathographies of mental illness will affect your clinical skills.
For more information or registration codes for either course, contact:
Course Director, Nathan Carlin, Ph.D.
Course Coordinator, Angela Polczynski, M.B.A. Candidate