Ayurvedic Man. Four young people look at a poster that exhibits an 18th-century Nepali illustrated anatomical painting, which provides a visual interpretation of the organs and vessels of the male body according to classical Ayurveda.

Welcome to the Medical Humanities Initiative

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Message from the Director

Dr. Lakshmi Krishnan

How do we understand health, illness, and healing? What is the relationship between suffering, personhood, care, and our responsibilities to each other? How do we examine medical practice and its intersection with science and technology? What part do art and aesthetic expression, creativity and the imagination, play in these conversations? How do we express the body?

The biomedical sciences answer these questions incompletely. Medical humanities is an interdisciplinary field that re-centers health in its broader social, cultural, and historical context. Bridging the clinic and the archive, it uses the tools of the humanities and social sciences to explore, analyze, and critique the contexts of illness and health. These approaches play a frontline role in contextualizing healthcare, shaping health policy and communication, resource allocation, dismantling racism and health disparities, caring for vulnerable communities, understanding the experience of illness and suffering, providing comfort, interpreting and making meaning from crisis, engaging with uncertainty, and envisioning alternatives.

Dr. Lakshmi Krishnan

The Georgetown Medical Humanities Initiative is a University-wide collaboration between Georgetown College of Arts and Sciences and Georgetown University Medical Center. We promote learning, development, and discovery at the intersection of the humanities, health, and healing.

Our Mission:
To re-center health and healing in a broader social, cultural, and historical context

Our Vision:
Shaping the future of health, society, and our shared humanity


National Endowment for the Humanities logo
American Association of Medical Colleges logo

The Georgetown Medical Humanities Initiative is supported in part by a Fundamental Role of Arts and Humanities in Medical Education Grant from the Association of American Medical Colleges and National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Humanities Connections Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Contact Us

Email: medicalhumanities@georgetown.edu

Office: New North #326

Social Media

Connect with us on Instagram! Follow the @gumedhum account.