The health humanities certificate at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire integrates compassion and humanities into health science and research to improve, deepen and strengthen experiences for health care providers and their patients.
One of only a few programs like it in Wisconsin, the growing program offers an interdisciplinary approach to studying health, helping you to become patient-centered, ethically intelligent, skilled in communication and competent with diverse populations. These skills are helpful for students applying to health professional schools or those interested in pursuing careers in health care leadership, government, civil engagement and administration in the public and private sectors.
Curriculum throughout the program explores a variety of topics including human values; bioethics; history of medicine; ethics of health care; illness and health care practices; human dignity and health inequities. The 15-credit certificate is rooted in experiential learning, requiring students to participate in at least one internship, research project, immersion experience or service-learning experience.
Upon completion of the program, you'll have a deeper understanding of illness, suffering, healing, aging and dying as human experiences and be well prepared to provide more empathetic and humane health care to all.
Advocacy training. This interdisciplinary approach to studying health humanities — through observation, analysis, communication, critical thinking, empathy, and self-reflection — will empower you to become a strong health care advocate and advance health and well-being. By better understanding important perspectives on power, equity and social context, you can have a direct role in shaping better and more holistic health care practices.
Community improvement. Cross-discipline learning and projects will give you unique opportunities to apply what you learn right here in the Eau Claire community. For example, you may work with local practitioners to create a digital record of local medical innovations, collaborate with clinicians to look at writing as a form of therapy, or develop programming for individuals with memory loss.
Real-world applications. The health humanities program requires the completion of one high-impact practice, which must be focused in the health humanities field. This could include an internship, an undergraduate research project, an immersion experience or service learning project, which would allow you to apply the skills learned in the classroom in real-life situations.
Through a robust curriculum shaped by more than 10 different departments, you will use the humanities and the social sciences to discover the historical and modern-day constructions of health, illness and death and what we can do to improve our daily lives.
Explore how human behavior affects critical health care decisions. Raise ethical and philosophical questions about the equitable provision of and access to health care. Discuss what changes can be made to improve medicine, public health and health care practices. And uncover uneven consequences that are grounded in histories of structural racism and xenophobia.
What classes do health humanities students take?
Your classes may cover topics like:
- Ethics of health care
- Global history of disease
- Health economics
- Environmental ethics
- Social gerontology
- Navigating health care
- Psychology of adulthood and aging
- Health communication
- History of public health in the United States
Learn more about the health humanities certificate in the UWEC course catalog.
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