Hiram College

Biomedical Humanities Major

Traditional Undergraduate

A Holistic Approach to Health Care

Health professionals use ethical judgment, compassionate communication and sound decision-making skills just as much as they use their scientific expertise. That’s why students who are interested in health care should pursue Hiram College’s interdisciplinary biomedical humanities degree program – the first of its kind in the United States.

Biomedical humanities emphasizes the human side of health care, examining it through humanities disciplines including literature, history, and philosophy. This helps liberal arts students learn how to think deeply and critically about some of the most important aspects of health care, including:

  • Patient experiences
  • The complex realities of aging and death
  • How racism, sexism, ageism, and ableism affect individuals’ access to and experience of health care

Who are Hiram’s Biomedical Humanities Students?

Students in the biomedical humanities degree program are curious, open-minded and eager for hands-on experience. They are trained to:

  • Think critically and creatively about the messy, human side of health care.
  • Appreciate the importance of cultivating strong patient-provider relationships.
  • Understand how structural factors shape people’s health and illness experiences.

By the time students graduate, they understand the challenges that lie ahead and why they are well-equipped to tackle them. During their job or graduate school interviews, they can clearly articulate why they want to work in health care.

About the Biomedical Humanities Program

The intensive science courses offered in the biomedical humanities program are equally important to the holistic medical humanities courses that are offered. In fact, the rigorous science curriculum meets the requirements for medical school.

Outside the classroom, students are required to get hands-on experience by completing the following:

  • 120 hours of biomedical research
  • 120 hours of clinical shadowing
  • 60 hours of service work in a health care setting

These experiences can help students determine the paths they want to take after Hiram.

Some students further prepare for future health care careers by double majoring or minoring in biology, neuroscience or biochemistry. Other students broaden their knowledge and skills by choosing psychology, sociology, creative writing, theatre arts or communication.

A Career-Focused Biomedical Humanities Program

Students at other colleges must find internships and volunteer opportunities on their own, but these hands-on experiences are built directly into the curriculum at Hiram. This requirement makes it easy for students to develop a strong portfolio for applying to jobs or graduate schools.

In the past, Hiram students have interned at world-class health care facilities, including Harvard Medical School, MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Cleveland Clinic. Students also have access to medical professionals at internationally renowned hospital systems. This unique feature helps students develop a deep understanding of day-to-day work environments.

The biomedical humanities degree program at Hiram prepares students for successful careers in a variety of health care fields. These fields include:

  • Medicine (physician or physician assistant)
  • Nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Genetic counseling
  • Public health
  • Social work
  • Medical sales
  • Funeral industry

For more details about the biomedical humanities program requirements at Hiram, visit our program page or major requirements page. Feel free to contact our faculty and staff if you have any questions about the biomedical humanities program.

Erin Lamb Headshot

Erin Lamb, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair of Biomedical Humanities
Director, Center for Literature and Medicine

Biomedical Humanities is a part of Hiram Health

Health is at the core of everything we do at Hiram College. It’s in our curriculum, in our residence halls and in our programming. It’s in everything we do. The liberal arts education you receive at Hiram will provide a strong foundation for your health care career aspirations.

  • Center for Literature & Medicine

    The Center for Literature and Medicine is the home of a distinctive interdisciplinary program that serves undergraduates, health care professionals and the wider community.

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