First Advisor

Eric Rodriguez

Date of Award

Spring 6-16-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Public Health Studies: Pre-clinical Health Science and University Honors


OHSU-PSU School of Public Health




Medical Humanities, Pre-Medical, Medical Education, Compassion, Professionalism, Holistic Care


The article presents the findings of a comprehensive narrative literature review aimed at addressing the question: What are the current frameworks of the medical humanities discipline in terms of purpose, methodology, curriculum, and student learning outcomes? Thematic analysis and qualitative coding highlighted key themes and areas of concern, including the purpose of medical humanities, methodology, current curriculum, and student outcomes. Recommendations are provided to address disagreements within the discipline, proposing a conceptual framework and definition for medical humanities, alongside advocating for a mixed-method approach as the primary methodology. Curriculum guidelines emphasize the importance of a quality integrated curriculum focusing on narrative medicine, case-based learning, and reflective work to enhance student engagement. The review identifies primary student learning outcomes, such as enhanced professionalism and holistic care, increased empathy, self-awareness, compassion, reduced burnout risk, and improved performance. Further research is needed to establish a consistent conceptual framework, addressing the varied language usage within the field. Additionally, the review underscores the importance of curriculum quality, advocating for research to define it and promoting techniques like narrative medicine and case-based learning in integrated programs. Further, publishing program details would facilitate comparison and inspire similar initiatives across institutions.