“Science Cannot Live By and Unto Itself Alone”
A doctor’s “bedside manner” is an important component of the healing process, as is apparent to anyone who’s ever developed a trusting and collaborative relationship with their physician—or, conversely, felt slighted by a doctor who spent more time typing information into a tablet than talking with them. No matter how technically competent a physician might be, interpersonal and communication skills are so vital for patient care that they are a core competency required of medical students in residency programs.
Activities that are traditionally part of a humanities education, such as creative writing, close reading, and history, can help future doctors develop these skills, write Kaye Husbands Fealing, Aubrey Deveny Incorvaia, and Richard Utz. Medical education has been a leader in incorporating the humanities with scientific and technical disciplines, but Husbands Fealing and her coauthors argue that this kind of integration should be part of a larger interdisciplinary transformation.
Solving complex societal problems is never a purely technical or scientific matter. As Husbands Fealing and her coauthors write, “Society needs robust institutional frameworks for equipping STEM practitioners with a humanistic lens to elucidate problems, imagine solutions, and craft interventions.”
Read more about how forward-thinking science and technology policy depends on better integrating the humanities, arts, and social sciences.