Courses for Students

Courses that fit under the Health Humanities umbrella are taught by faculty and staff across the university. They are offered through the Office of Interprofessional Initiatives, who can put you in contact with the course director if you have questions. These courses are typically offered on a staggered basis, versus every semester. Those interested in a humanities-based program not listed here under “classes” should visit the "Communicating Compassion" Student Leadership Program” page under the Office of Humanities to learn about a special, year-long program.

IP 701 Health Humanities Seminar: Special Topics in Literature and Film

In this 8-week discussion-based course, students read literature and view films on topics related to health and the delivery of health care. These topics include social determinants of health, patient perspectives, provider-patient communication, and implicit bias among others. A focus is placed on entering the stories of others and developing empathy for patients, although we will also study narratives that provide opportunities to discuss provider roles and identities and interprofessional relationships.

IP 703 Narrative Medicine Seminar: Writing Health and Illness

This 8-week interactive course explores the various intersections between writing, health, and health care. Expressive and reflective writing are increasingly recognized for the role they can play in patient healing and provider wellness. Additionally, creative writing is recognized as a method for teaching health professions students to develop narrative competence—the ability to interpret, record, and retell the stories of patients effectively, recognizing that those stories are important sources of information that can assist in diagnosis and treatment. Guided by narrative medicine and health humanities theory and pedagogy, this course allows students to explore the role writing can play in their future practice, as they seek to become empathetic, patient-centered providers. As such, the course also stresses the role the arts and humanities play in health care education and practice.

IP 721: Blood, Sweat & Tears: Using Visual and Musical Concepts to Appreciate Perception in Patient Care

This Interprofessional Course will examine themes related to self-realization through the music and videos of Korean pop musicians BTS, a group well known for addressing societal issues in their music. This class will examine some of those issues from a health care provider perspective, particularly in the context of interprofessional teams where the provider’s approach varies by discipline. Using reflection, analysis, and open discussion about the topics as interpreted from watching videos and reading supplemental texts, this will be a “no wrong answers” course. It will focus on appreciating the views and perspectives of other health care providers by facilitating open discussion about challenging topics such as mental health, temptation and conflict, and societal pressures and expectations as they may apply to clinical practice. In addition to the music videos, supplemental readings will include passages from Hermann Hesse’s Demian, Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and the Webtoon Save Me.

IP 731 Eye Spy for Development of Affective Qualities in Interprofessional Healthcare Students

In collaboration with the Gibbes Museum of Art as well as MUSC’s Colleges of Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Center for Academic Excellence, the purpose of this interprofessional elective course is to improve and/or refine affective qualities (observations, written and verbal communication, humanistic communication, non-verbal behaviors) using experiential learning strategies within a museum environment. Improving the affective domain quality of students studying within the professions of the healthcare system will facilitate patient- and family-centered care. Students participate in 8 museum sessions with MUSC faculty member(s), Gibbes Museum of Art’s trained art educators, patients, and caregivers using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) strategies. Small and large group activities will occur each session. 

IP 732 History of Health Sciences

This course introduces students to the history of the broad field of health, disease, and medicine through a series of topical lectures. The course begins with the history of the Medical University of South Carolina. Then biographical accounts of important figures in the history of the health professions will flesh out concepts of both the art and the science of practice. Other lectures will highlight revolutionary discoveries and other significant events in the history of the health professions. The course goal is to contribute to professional development by raising students' awareness of their profession's cultural, philosophic, and scientific heritage. Students at any level in all colleges may enroll. There is no exam or term paper; grading will be pass/fail based on attendance at lectures.

IP 750 Health Humanities Research: Independent Study

In this 12-week health humanities elective, each student creates an “independent study” project  to complete over the course of one semester and participates in an online community of interprofessional learners. Draw on your enthusiasm for the arts, humanities, or social sciences to investigate health and health care from new perspectives. Because of its flexible design, this course is perfect for distance-education students or students completing away rotations as well as for on-campus students. Students must submit a brief paragraph describing their project to receive the course director’s permission to take the course.

IP 774  Introduction to Health Literacy and Culture Competency

The purpose of this course is to introduce health profession students to basic principles of health literacy.  The course will focus on the issues of low health literacy; writing in plain language; health communication strategies; cultural competency and social determinants of health.  Students will work in interprofessional teams on a group project to improve an identified health literacy challenge. 2 s.h.

For more information on these courses, contact course director.

Ethics Courses offered by the Institute of Human Values in Health Care