Anton Chekhov was a doctor; so was poet William Carlos Williams. These days, though, things are more difficult if you’re a poetry-loving pre med. With all the science and math requirements, many students feel as though they have to choose either the humanities or medicine. But now, thankfully, Johns Hopkins is changing that or into an and.
Hopkins’ newest major, the clunkily named medicine, science and humanities concentration, will provide a way for students who want to look at medical or scientific issues through a humanistic lens. Or, presumably, the other way around. This new major is in keeping with a nationwide trend of encouraging doctor wannabes to become more well rounded; the redesigned MCAT will start testing humanities and social sciences this year, for example. Hopkins may actually be a little late to the party; other universities, including Baylor and Columbia, have been offering medical humanities programs for a few years now
And even though this major will be new for Hopkins, it’s building on an old idea: That medicine and the humanities are not disparate subjects, but rather linked areas of knowledge. “It is only recently that medicine, science, and the humanities have become separated and siloed,” Charles Weiner, interim director of the new major, told the Hopkins Hub.
While this is an excellent idea, there’s still one big stumbling block: The major doesn’t cover all the required classes you need to apply to medical school. If that’s part of a Hopkins student’s plan, he or she will have to take–wait for it–some extra classes.