This one-year MS degree program fosters interdisciplinary collaborative teaching and learning. Former graduates identified five strengths of the program:
- Individualize your learning to support your interests and create your capstone project.
- Engage with students from a wide range of disciplines, careers, and experiences, but with similar goals.
- Develop close working relationships with interdisciplinary faculty and mentors.
- Complete an MS degree in one academic year in the School of Medicine & Dentistry.
- Participate in discussions and daily work of practicing clinicians and scholars.
Natercia Rodrigues, MD
Hometown: N. Syracuse, NY
Undergraduate school: Wake Forest University
Degree: Chemistry (pre-med)
Career plans: Pediatric Oncologist
What would you like prospective students to know? As a premed student, there is so much emphasis on hard science and memorizing facts, and sometimes we forget to take a step back and think about the bigger picture, and think about why it is we are studying all of this information. The Master's in Medical Humanities Program has allowed me to do just that. I have learned how to read about, witness, and process relevant issues in our medical system, whether they be ethical, social, or cultural issues. Taking a year to immerse myself in the humanities has allowed me to learn how to think differently and learn from others' perspectives. Furthermore, studying humanities has allowed me to practice working with literature and texts that are not scientifically based, which has helped improve my non-science MCAT scores in the critical reading and psychology/sociology sections by 30%.
Where is Jennifer now? Jennifer is in medical school.
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Undergraduate School: Augustana College, IL
Degree: Major: Philosophy; Minors: Ethics, Political Science, and Women and Gender Studies
Career plans: To work as a health care lawyer and bioethicist for a government agency or work for a medical school and hospital.
Fun fact about me: I love traveling and learning about different cultures.
Why did you choose the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry? I chose to attend the University of Rochester School of Medicine because I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of medicine and all of the actors that play a role within the medical system (i.e. doctors, nurses, medical staff, medical students, insurance companies, patients and the patient’s family). I also chose Rochester because I knew that I would be supported in every way by the faculty within the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Division and that I would be challenged to think.
Title: “Lost in Translation: A Physician’s Experience”
Brief Overview: Developed as a qualitative study designed using narrative research, the study used semi-structured open-ended interview questions to explore hospitalists’ experiences with New York’s Family Health Care Decisions Act (2010) at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The purpose was to understand how the experiences of physicians in particular could be used to influence health policy in general and whether physicians’ experiences should and (or) can be used to evaluate the law, amend the law and be used for educational purposes.
What would you like prospective students to know? Never stop asking questions, never stop thinking in different ways and select a capstone project that reflects who you are and your passions.
Where is Ebony now? After leaving Rochester, Ebony went on to Harvard and received a Master's Degree in bioethics. She is now working for a law firm while studying for the LSAT.
Hometown: Smithfield, UT
Undergraduate school: The University of Utah
Degree: BFA in Acting
Career plans: In addition to acting, directing, and play writing, I want to be a professor of medical humanities and theater.
Fun fact about me: I played in a World Series of Poker event on my 21st birthday.
About the Program: I am head over heels in love with this program! It is the perfect model of what multidisciplinary education should be. The professors and students all have different areas of expertise, but we share common goals of improving the way medicine is taught and practiced. The result is a family of people who are diverse, brilliant, passionate, compassionate, and supernaturally generous of spirit. Everyone teaches everyone else, and it is a privilege to be a part of.
Capstone Project: I taught a series of interactive theater workshops to fourth-year medical students and first-year residents. The goal was to use principles of improvisational acting to explore difficult conversations held within a medical context.
What would you like prospective students to know? If you are passionate about something, wish to share that passion with others, interested in the medical field, and willing to work your butt off, our program should be at the top of your list. Your experiences and interests will be welcome here, no matter what they are.
Where is Christian now? Christian is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in communication in health at George Mason University. His dissertation will be on the shift in social roles for patient and provider around a terminal diagnosis.