Southern Miss to offer new minors for health and well-being

Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Leaders with the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) announced the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development (ISPD) will launch two new minors.

The new minors will introduce students to different approaches in the study of health, well-being, and medicine, including: Health and Medical Humanities and Social Science and Medicine. The minors will be available beginning in Fall 2021.

“In recent years, medical schools have increasingly come to recognize the value of the humanities and social sciences. But in 2021, having lived through a global pandemic, we all are in a position to appreciate interdisciplinary perspectives about health, illness, and medicine,” said Dr. Ann Marie Kinnell, director of ISPD.

The new Health and Medical Humanities minor explores health, illness, and medical care through a social and cultural lens by studying English, history, philosophy, sociology, and the arts. Some of the course offerings will have students:

  • Discuss bioethical questions in contemporary medicine;
  • Examine literature about disability, mental illness, and death, and learn the history of medical practices and ethics;
  • Address systemic issues in healthcare and how race, class, disability, gender, and sexuality can impact medical access and care;
  • Understand the elements of effective communication between medical professionals and patients and how narrative shapes doctor-patient relationships; and
  • Study the arts in therapeutic settings and how creative expression can contribute to individual and collective well-being.

The minor includes 18 hours of required and elective courses.

The new Social Science and Medicine minor allows students to dive deeper into the complex social aspects of medicine and how it impacts healthcare and those receiving it. Some of the course offerings will have students:

  • Understand the cultural implications of healthcare experiences;
  • Become equipped to enter and navigate the healthcare system;
  • Understand the social context of health in our society; and
  • Understand how economic and social forces affect health outcomes.

The minor includes 18 hours of required and elective courses.

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