Reposted from the University of Waterloo Daily Bulletin, June 12, 2023
The pandemic has illuminated gaps in our approach to health care. The need for humanities-based thinking and methodologies to respond to complex problems, nurture leaders to respond holistically to health-related challenges, and guide and foster action in a compassionate, human-centred way is necessary to bring systemic change to our healthcare system.
In collaboration with the University of Waterloo's Faculty of Arts, St. Jerome's University is launching a new Health Humanities diploma for the fall 2023 term. This diploma will draw upon multiple humanities disciplines to encourage students to cultivate core competencies in the human, subjective, and qualitative side of health and whole-person care. The diploma requires the completion of five comprehensive courses. It is open to current undergraduate students, non-degree or post-degree students or anyone with a role in healthcare where this type of training will augment their recent experience.
“The Health Humanities diploma draws upon the research expertise of faculty across many disciplines at St. Jerome’s including, for example, recent SSHRC funded scholarship on end of life care. Catholic organizations have long been involved in both education and health care. This new diploma aligns with our institutional commitment to fostering the development of graduates who will contribute to the creation of a more compassionate and just society and who respect the dignity of all persons. We look forward to welcoming students from a variety of degree plans into our classes in SJ1 and SJ2 this Fall,” says Dr. Carol Ann MacGregor, vice president academic and dean at St. Jerome’s University.
Many post-graduate programs in health-related disciplines, including medical schools, are increasingly expecting candidates to show proficiency with humanistic skills, including those related to effective communication, narrative interpretation and ethics. The diploma will give these graduates a credential that showcases their expertise in humanities training pertaining to the health field. Students completing this diploma will learn the importance of a historical perspective, develop their ability to think critically and reflectively, engage in ethical deliberation, and acquire a range of interpretive skills while increasing their sensitivity and understanding of cultural differences and inequalities in healthcare.
“The Health Humanities Diploma offers a wonderful opportunity for interdisciplinary learning for degree-seeking students and lifelong learners. Combining the insights and analytical techniques of humanities practice with the knowledge-base and modes of understanding of health sciences, the courses open doors to insights and approaches that our communities and society urgently need,” says Dr. Kathy Acheson, associate dean, undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Arts.
For more information about the Health Humanities diploma, please visit the St. Jerome’s website or contact Dr. Andrew Stumpf, professor of Philosophy and acting director of health humanities.