The medical humanities tethers me to the reasons why I chose medicine as a career

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Siva Rajamarthandan

Siva Rajamarthandan (SOM’23)

Students often find themselves tangled in the minutiae of pathophysiology and pharmacology during medical school. For me, the medical humanities tethers me to the reasons why I chose medicine as a career. Classes in this field allow students to explore how profoundly social, cultural, historical, and political forces shape the way healthcare is provided and received. What initially drew me to this initiative was the promise to critically read stories centered on illness experiences and suffering. Stories consider many ethical dimensions. They diversify thought, bridge differences, and challenge all of us to see a world beyond our own and through other visions. Like stories, I believe that medicine summons its practitioners to do the same with their patients. Medical Humanities cultivates the skills and passion to look beyond the scientific picture and honor the dignity of the whole person. It is impossible to navigate this interdisciplinary field without learning that human understanding thrives not just through experience, but even in our imaginations. All the teachers in this program inherently nurture and challenge their students to embrace patients’ glaring stories and nuanced symbols with resilience, humility, compassion, and hope.