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M1/M2 Student Seminars

Medical Humanities and Applied Arts Seminars

The medical humanities seminars provide students with the opportunity to think about health care and the profession of medicine from the perspectives of one or more humanities disciplines, introducing them to some of the basic texts, methods, and questions the humanities use to illuminate a topic or problem in health care.

Osher is now offering our Cooking Up Health and Integrative Medicine courses as medical humanities seminar options in partnership with the Center for Bioethics & Medical Humanities.

M1- Cooking Up Health: An Intro to Culinary Medicine

Culinary Medicine courses can enrich medical humanities by exploring the cultural, ethical, and historical facets of food and nutrition, illuminating how dietary practices shape health, patient care, and societal well-being. Of course, cooking is also an art form! It involves creativity, expression, and a deep understanding of ingredients and techniques, similar to how painters or sculptors work with their mediums. In culinary medicine, this artistry is intertwined with the science of nutrition and health, offering a multifaceted approach to wellness that complements the broader, humanistic aspects of medical education. Over the course of 5 sessions, students will engage in hands-on cooking of plant-based dishes, gain an appreciation for the role of food as medicine, and explore how culinary medicine can be a part of patient care. 


Jan- March, 2025 for 5 sessions (3-5 pm or later) + service learning. 

Exact dates and times tbd.  

  • Cooking sessions may be on Zoom or in person
  • A gift card will be provided to subsidize the cost of ingredients for virtual sessions
  • All meals will be plant-forward
  • Pre-work (readings/prep), not including grocery shopping, will average 1 hour per class
  • Community outreach opportunities, where medical students help teach kids in at risk communities about nutrition in collaboration with our community partner Common Threads and Chicago Public Schools. 
Learning Objectives:
  • Describe the key principles of culinary medicine, including the impact of dietary patterns on health and disease prevention.
  • Show proficiency in basic culinary skills necessary for preparing nutritious and appealing whole food plant-based meals, with the goal of modeling this behavior in their own lives.
  • Recognize the importance of incorporating diverse dietary preferences and traditions into nutritional planning and counseling, showing respect for cultural differences in food and eating habits.
  • Develop a practical skill set to inform patient coaching and self-care such as using kitchen tools and equipment, locating healthy food choices in grocery stores, and incorporating appropriate ingredients for meal recommendations.
  • Discuss the impact of issues such as cost, access, culture, education, location, religion and morality in diet habits, and the importance of taking these factors into consideration when relating to the patient.

M2- Integrative Medicine Medical Humanities Seminar

This dynamic course is designed to bridge the gap between conventional medicine and alternative healing modalities in an evidence-based way, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the body-mind-spirit connection and empowering you to optimize the health and well-being of both patients and yourself. 


Nov 2024 -Jan 2025 for 5 sessions (1-3 pm or later).

Exact dates and times are currently tbd.  

Learning Objectives: 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of integrative medicine's core principles, emphasizing a holistic approach to patient care that combines conventional and integrative therapies to promote optimal health and healing.
  • Discuss how personal, cultural, ethnic, and spiritual beliefs shape an individual's interpretation and experience of his or her disease and its treatment.
  • Identify the major strengths and limitations of biomedical knowledge as applied to health care delivery.
  • Describe the evidence for mind–body–spirit relationships in illness and health.
  • Describe the basic concepts of the most commonly used CIM (complementary and integrative medicine) modalities such as herbal and nutritional medicine, and mind–body therapies, and of one or more of the widely used traditional systems of medicine such as Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine
  • Identify reputable information resources for CIM in order to support life-long learning.
  • Explain the importance of maintaining one's own well-being, modeling healthy behavior, and balancing the demands of personal and professional life
  • Locate, interpret, evaluate and use Integrative Medicine information, applying critical thinking and scientific reasoning skills.
  • Demonstrate an ability to utilize the principles of evidence-based medicine in analyzing integrative medicine approaches
  • Identify and appreciate the diverse cultural beliefs, practices, and traditions that influence patients' health behaviors and attitudes toward various forms of medicine.
  • Identify and analyze the multifaceted barriers that prevent individuals and communities from accessing integrative medicine services, including financial constraints, geographic limitations, and lack of awareness or understanding about available treatments.

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