CFP: Special Issue of Journal of Medical Humanities, “Pre-Health Humanities”

Special Issue of the Journal of Medical Humanities: “Pre-Health Humanities”
Guest Editors:  Sarah Berry and Erin Lamb

We invite submissions for a special issue of the Journal of Medical Humanities that will explore the expanding field of Pre-Health Humanities or Health Humanities teaching and engagement at the pre-professional (i.e., baccalaureate or post-bacc levels). There are increasingly diverse means of preparing students for health professions schools, and many schools are beginning to look for more than A+ science students. For example, recognizing the need to train healthcare professionals for teamwork, treat a diverse patient population, and provide humane care, more health professional schools are turning to holistic review in their admissions processes, emphasizing ethics, interpersonal skills, and social foundations in the delivery of healthcare. At the same time, pre-professional education is turning toward interdisciplinary studies. At the nexus of these trends are Pre-Health Humanities studies. In the past decade, the number of new pre-professional humanities programs focused on health and medicine has dramatically increased in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.

This special issue of JMH will attempt to map this growth and address the many essential questions it raises such as:

  • At the pre-professional level, how do we define the Health Humanities and identify Health Humanities programs?
  • What is the mission of programs that serve a broader constituency?
  • What underlying philosophies ground the diverse curricula of these programs?
  • What are the relationships among the humanities, arts, and social and natural sciences within these programs?
  • Are there any skills, methods, learning outcomes, or curricula that are (or should be) standard across these programs?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of teaching Health Humanities at the pre-professional level?What impact does training in Pre-Health Humanities have on future health professions students and healthcare professionals, and how do we measure this impact?
  • What “best practices” exist in Pre-Health Humanities education?

For this issue of JMH, we welcome three kinds of submissions, including:

Critical Articles

Critical Articles that speak to the above questions or other aspects of Pre-Health Humanities education. Abstract submissions should be 1000 to 1500 words in length and include a working title. Abstracts should be submitted by 1st November 2015 via e-mail to with the subject heading: “JMH Pre-Health Humanities Article Submission.”

You will be notified of acceptance in December with full articles of approximately 12-15 double-spaced pages (not including references) due by 1st June 2016.
“Snapshots” of Existing Programs

We invite a representative from any currently existing or proposed pre-professional health humanities program to submit a very brief overview of their curriculum.

Snapshots should be submitted by 1st June 2016 via an on-line form that asks for a brief (250-word) narrative description of the program, an uploaded document that lays out program requirements, and basic contact information.
Student Perspectives

We invite students, health practitioners, and health educators who have completed Pre-Health Humanities programs or coursework to submit brief reflections in response to the following question: How has your baccalaureate Health Humanities training affected your health professions training or practice, or your life experiences more generally?

These perspective pieces should include the school and program from which you matriculated and be no more than 500 words in length.  They should be submitted in full by 1st June 2016 to with the subject heading “JMH Pre-Health Humanities Perspective Submission.”

Enquiries for any of these submissions may be directed to Sarah Berry or Erin Lamb at

The Journal of Medical Humanities publishes original papers reflecting its broad perspective on interdisciplinary studies of medicine and medical education. Research findings emerge from three areas of investigation: medical humanities, cultural studies, and pedagogy. Medical humanities coverage includes literature, history, philosophy, and bioethics as well as areas of the social and behavioral sciences that have strong humanistic traditions. Inquiries based on cultural studies may include multidisciplinary activities involving the humanities; women’s, African-American, and other critical studies; media studies and popular culture; and sociology and anthropology. Lastly, pedagogical perspectives elucidate what and how knowledge is made and valued in medicine, how that knowledge is expressed and transmitted, and the ideological basis of medical education.

Erin Gentry Lamb

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