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As elucidated from the time of Hippocrates, the practice of medicine includes scientific, interpersonal, and ethical components-both science and art.
Over the last generation, advances in medical knowledge and technology, and attention to productivity and economy have shifted the focus of medical education and compressed attention given to the art of medicine: the doctor-patient relationship; the consequences of illness in patient and family life; the ways in which social and cultural factors influence medical interactions, and the importance of physicianly self reflection.
Medical humanities has evolved as a discipline that uses the arts, humanities, ethics, and social sciences to provide frames of reference for understanding these issues and to teach techniques of observation, analysis, and self-reflection.
The study of medical humanities enhances the medical professional's skill in interpersonal clinical contexts, and enriches understanding of the broad social and cultural contexts in which the practice of medicine occurs.
The Center for Medical Humanities was established in the fall of 2013 and consists of a director, Dr. Linda Pessar, and a steering committee that brings together students, professionals, and academics from a variety of backgrounds who are dedicated to the advancement of the art of medicine at UB. We integrate humanities into the core medical curriculum, and we tap into resources in the greater Buffalo community to provide extracurricular offerings that complement and enhance that curriculum.