Medical Humanities.


Medical Humanities

About the Program

Humanizing healthcare is the mission of the Medical Humanities program at Drew University. The curriculum melds academic inquiry with real-world experience to prepare students for careers throughout the healthcare industry. Students participate in practicums at hospitals, non-profits and other healthcare organizations throughout the greater New York City region. Close faculty mentorship guides graduate students through rigorous research and practical experience, which prepares them for careers as healthcare professionals and advocates.

Program Requirements

Certificate in Medical Humanities (15 credits)

Requires the completion of five courses. Four of the courses (Medical and Health Humanities Seminar, Biomedical Ethics, Introduction to Narrative Medicine, and Clinical Practicum) are mandatory. The remaining course may be taken as an elective.

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Master of Arts in Medical Humanities, Health, and Society (30 credits)

Requires the completion of nine courses plus thesis, or if on the non-thesis track, a total of eleven courses. Five courses are required. The remaining courses are taken as seminar electives.

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Doctor of Medical Humanities (45 credits)

Requires the completion of twelve courses. Seven courses are required. The remaining five courses are taken as seminar electives. All Doctor of Medical Humanities students must prepare and successfully defend a nine-credit doctoral dissertation of 150-220 pages.

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Our Program Director

Dr. Merel Visse

Director of Medical Humanities
Associate Professor

Merel Visse (PhD) works in the interdisciplinary fields of care ethics, care theory and qualitative and artistic inquiry. Her research, writings and teachings revolve around connecting the arts with central insights of care. Insights such as relationality, affectivity, precariousness, responsibility, embodiment, vulnerability and (inter)dependency, and political theory on care.

Merel’s work builds bridges between the everyday lived experiences of people and the socio-political realm of public issues. She follows a dialectic approach to research that is both responsive and critical. On the one hand, this approach involves being receptive to the movements that occur in everyday situations of care, and on the other hand a critical analysis of ideological and theoretical concepts that inform the concept of care. Care research is not only seen as a deliberate act of analysis in order to produce knowledge, but also as an event that requires a praxis of unknowing by living one’s questions real time.

Merel serves multiple roles and aims to create intersections between the diverse set of communities she is affiliated with. At Drew, she works as the Director of Medical Humanities at the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies and as an Associate Professor in Health Studies. She is also affiliated part-time as an Associate Professor with the Care Ethics group of the Dutch University of Humanistic Studies. Together with her Dutch colleagues, she coordinates the International Care Ethics Research Consortium (

She draws upon her prior experience with the coordination and execution of complex evaluation and qualitative inquiry projects, as well as the acquisition of grants. She is a published author of peer reviewed articles in impact-factor journals and several books. She is a regular speaker at conferences and facilitates labs and workshops.

For up-to-date news, her inspirations and background, please visit
Feel free to contact Merel at: