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Enhancement Medicine and the American Self, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston (McGovern)

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posted on 2022-07-06, 16:20 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
What do makeup and house-hunting have in common with Adderall and transgender therapy? What do voice lessons and tattoos share with antidepressants and face lifts? How do body piercing and weightlifting overlap with growth hormones and voluntary amputation? Like the broader culture, American medicine sometimes encourages the reshaping of identity, often as part of the pursuit of happiness. This is enhancement medicine—clinical interventions for persons not necessarily sick but who want to feel better about themselves: stronger, more attractive, more confident, and, above all, fulfilled. This discussion-based course will explore the relationship between enhancement medicine and the cultural images and ideas that shape our quests to be “better than well.” UTH, Houston (McGovern) also sponsors blue book, or extracurricular, electives each semester. These electives are designed to supplement and enrich the medical school’s curriculum, exposing students to a range of topics related to the humanities and ethics. Some electives are faculty-led; however, a growing number of these courses are designed by medical students who have identified topics of interest or gaps that can be addressed through the medical humanities. Relevant courses that use literature include: Introduction to Medical Humanities, Humanities in Dermatology, and Humanities in Film. For more information, see This information has been collected for the Post-Discipline Online Syllabus Database. The database explores the use of literature by schools of professional education in North America. It forms part of a larger project titled Post-Discipline: Literature, Professionalism, and the Crisis of the Humanities, led by Dr Merve Emre with the assistance of Dr Hayley G. Toth. You can find more information about the project at Data was collected and accurate in 2021/22.


Subject Area


Geographic Region

West South Central

University or College

University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston (McGovern)

Funding Status


Endowment (according to NACUBO's U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20) ($1,000)


Annual Tuition and Mandatory Fees 2021-2022 ($) (Resident; Non-resident, where applicable)

22646; 30167

Course Title

Enhancement Medicine and the American Self

Terminal Degree of Instructor(s)


Position of Instructor(s)

Postdoctoral Fellow

Academic Year(s) Active


Course Enrolment


Primary Works on Reading List

Carl Elliott, Better Than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream.

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