De-medicalizing the medical humanities

Otniel E. Dror*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this essay I argue that the integration of the humanities into medical humanities has implicitly medicalized the humanities. This medicalization of the humanities suppresses those dimensions of the humanities that can most significantly contribute to medicine. I present my argument by studying the critical and crucial gap between the humanities as they are presented and taught in the context of medical schools, often as a set of skills, sensitivities, and competencies, and the humanities as they are experienced and lived in the humanitiesas an ideological-ethical calling, which saturates and infuses daily life with an ethicizing, politicizing, and ideological critique. It is this core essence of the humanities that is abrogated and annulled in medical humanities. After presenting my argument, I exemplify some of the ways in which my colleagues and I attempt to imbue medical students with the critical and ethicizing outlook and calling of the humanities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)317-326
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Legacy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2011


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