The very first year of master Medical Humanities: a great success

Collage van medische items, een student en de woorden Integrity, Competency en Care ©

Last September, the new interdisciplinary master's programme Medical Humanities was launched. In the programme, students develop humanities and medicine perspectives on care and health. The year has flown by. With the summer holidays in sight, it is time for a review of the first year of this master's programme. "We are extremely proud of this year's results," says Suzanne Balm, who is involved in the programme as a policy officer.

The first class

In the Medical Humanities Master’s programme, students develop humanities and medical perspectives on healthcare and health and tackle the sector’s challenges with innovative solutions. Last September, 21 students took on the challenge of being the first to complete the brand new Medical Humanities programme, Balm says.

“About half of the group comes from medical faculties, mainly through the Medicine Bachelor’s programmes. The other half of the students has a background in the humanities. These students are from all sorts of programmes: History, Philosophy, Dutch Language and Culture, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Language and Cultural Studies, Communication and Information Sciences, Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, and Humanistic Studies. Because the programme is still relatively small this year, the students form a tight group.

The Medical Humanities programme

In Medical Humanities, students not only immerse themselves in the healthcare field from different perspectives, they also use their unique combination of knowledge and skills to carry out interdisciplinary research and assignments for real stakeholders.

"Students from the Master's programme visited Anthony Gormley's exhibition Ground at Museum Voorlinden, for instance," Balm says. "For another subject, they did research for the online platform, where their research could actually be used by the organisation.”

Looking ahead

For the full-time students, the next few weeks are all about completing their thesis. The part-time students are preparing for the internship they will conduct in their second year.

“Meanwhile, next year’s class is already eager to start,” Balm sees. “After the application deadline of 1 June, it looks like the group of students will grow significantly next year. That development, along with the positive results of the National Student Survey, shows us that the first year of the programme has been a great success.”

Medical Humanities in In the media

Listen to foetal medicine expert Daphne Voormolen on Medical Humanities at the KoffieCo podcast