International Helath Humanities Network Blog

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Health Humanities into 2017

Posted on Monday 9th January 2017 by Paul Crawford

Over the past several years, Health Humanities scholars and educators across the US have become more energized and organized regarding the expansion and the promotion of our field. 

We are preparing for our third annual and international conference in Houston, Texas in March 2017 (, affiliated as the 6th International Health Humanities Conference, and are looking forward to the 2018 meeting at Stanford University followed by 2019 in Chicago hosted by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.    And the Health Humanities Consortium ( is now formally launched, providing us with both a real and virtual community with which to stay connected, find opportunities for collaboration, share research and teaching materials, and support our younger colleagues. 

One of the most significant developments in health humanities education has been the phenomenal growth of baccalaureate programs in US institutions.  Two colleagues and I completed and published a report on the number and kind of programs across the US, and we continue to update it

(  Recent studies report the benefits for students who complete these programs including improved performance in health professions schools, healthcare delivery and healthcare leadership.  Our report was flagged by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), the accrediting body for 147 US and 17 Canadian medical schools.  The report became the impetus for a December 2016 article in the AAMC News on the astonishing number of pre-med students “flocking to baccalaureate-level health humanities programs around the country.”

Academic Medicine has also just published a perspective article by me, Michael Blackie, Rebecca Garden and Delese Wear titled, “The Almost Right Word: The Move From Medical to Health Humanities,” in which argue that the health humanities is a more encompassing label for our field because it captures recent theoretical and pedagogical developments in higher education (for example, the shift from rigid disciplinary boundaries to multi- and interdisciplinary inquiry), and it underscores the crucial distinction between medicine and health.

We look forward to more conversations around the “naming” issue as well as more opportunities to work with our colleagues nationally and internationally. 

Therese (Tess) Jones PhD

Associate Director, Center for Bioethics and Humanities

Director, Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


Editor, Journal of Medical Humanities 

Health Care Areas


  • Arts & Humanities Research Council
  • The  institue of mental health nottingham
  • National Institute of Health
  • Centre for Advanced Studies
  • The University of Nottingham United Kingdom China Malaysia
  • De Montfort University Leicester
  • OPPNET Basic Behaviour & Social Science Opportunity Network