Scholars in the emerging academic field of Medical Humanities (MH) argue that the MH can nurture students’ understanding of personal values, empathy, narrative integrity and cultural humility. MH programs, thus, include disciplinary diversity (offering courses in literature, cultural studies, visual arts, history of medicine, bioethics, etc.) but often do not consider the importance of diversity among the faculty that build and sustain the program. As we move from developing and teaching MH courses into an era of developing and implementing MH programs, we are called to address critical gaps in the conceptualization and realization of MH programs. In this reflective essay, we open up dialogue about the value of faculty diversity with the purpose of helping shape the vision and values of other developing MH programs. We share our experiences, as Indigenous scholars and educators, in the creation and expansion of a MH program at a mid-western state university. By sharing how we brought Indigenous values and perspectives to our roles as founding Director of the MH program and members of the MH executive committee, we tell the story of how our Indigenous worldviews are embodied in practices of narrative medicine that help bring us into wholeness as individuals and as an institution. In doing so, we establish the value of including faculty from diverse backgrounds in MH programs, give examples of how we incorporated Indigenous peoples' ways of knowing, being and doing in our MH program and make recommendations for developing MH programs.
Desmarais, Michele M. and Robbins, Regina E.
"From the Ground Up: Indigenizing Medical Humanities and Narrative Medicine,"
Survive & Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine: Vol. 4:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/survive_thrive/vol4/iss1/6