HHIVE members Sarah Anne Singer, Kym Weed, Jennifer Edwell, Jordynn Jack, and Jane Thrailkill recently published a co-authored article in the Journal of Medical Humanities about the importance of undergraduate research exposure in health humanities. The article, which you can now access online, will appear in a special issue about pre-health humanities teaching early next year.
“Advancing Pre-Health Humanities as Intensive Research Practice: Principles and Recommendations from a Cross-Divisional Baccalaureate Setting”
Sarah Ann Singer, Kym Weed, Jennifer Edwell, Jordynn Jack, and Jane F. Thrailkill
Abstract: This essay argues that pre-health humanities programs should focus on intensive research practice for baccalaureate students and provides three guiding principles for implementing it. Although the interdisciplinary nature of health humanities permits baccalaureate students to use research methods from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, pre-health humanities coursework tends to force students to adopt only one of many disciplinary identities. Alternatively, an intensive research approach invites students to critically select and combine methods from multiple (and seemingly opposing) disciplines to ask and answer questions about health problems more innovatively. Using the authors’ experiences with implementing health humanities baccalaureate research initiatives at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the authors contend that pre-health humanities programs should teach and study multiple disciplinary research methods and their values; examine how health humanities research might transfer across disciplines; and focus on mentoring opportunities for funding, presenting, and publishing research. These recommendations have the potential to create unprecedented research experiences for baccalaureate students as they prepare to enter careers within and beyond the allied health professions.