Although treating a sick person mainly dwells on historical as well as current information made available through testimonials and tests all wrapped with a proper diagnosis, this does not complete the package of making him well. Good communication channels with the patient and kin are essential in order for the healthcare practitioner to understand and uncover unsaid information due to ignorance and neglect. A PhD in Medical Humanities equips a candidate who is already well-qualified in the science of medicine with the ability to discover more than what is said and seen. It is often known as the art of medicine as one needs to view and treat medicine from all aspects.
In pursuing this postgraduate program, a candidate is exposed to the areas of medical ethics and humanities. Although it is an obvious fact that the application of medicine is to save lives, often times it is applied with less than ideal methods and mannerisms. Most people can attest to personal or know of experiences whereby healthcare providers were lacking in bedside manner. Though a small matter in some eyes, it plays a significant role in establishing a clear and good relationship between doctor and patient.
As part of the curriculum for a PhD in Medical Humanities program, healthcare policies are addressed to ensure relevant ones are drawn up to fulfill society’s needs. Since we live in a multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-national environment, policies cannot be made and implemented from a single point of view. What may be permitted in a certain culture may be frowned upon or treated as taboo by another. As history, psychology and politics come into play, it is apparent to see continuous need for proper research in medical humanities be carried out.
Postgraduates of this discipline are assets to the teaching field in grooming healthcare professionals to carry out a better job by applying medical ethics and humanities in their respective specialties. The public image of these professionals can also be improved as litigation for healthcare-related areas are reduced due to better channels of communication and delivery of healthcare services.