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Lived Experiences of Illness, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston (McGovern)

online resource
posted on 2022-07-06, 16:20 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
This course will enable students to have a greater understanding of the ways that patients make sense of illness. The course text, Phenomenology of Illness by Havi Carel, considers ways that illness impacts various aspects of experience. Carel draws on the conceptual tools of philosophy in order to describe her own experiences of breathlessness as a result of a rare lung condition as well as others’ experiences of illness. The course is premised on the assumption that it is important for physicians to go beyond objective measures of disease in order to address their patients’ experiences. This doesn’t mean that it is invalid for physicians to use such measures, but it does highlight the limitations of solely approaching patients through a scientific lens. 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

Lived Experiences of Illness

Terminal Degree of Instructor(s)


Position of Instructor(s)

Postdoctoral Fellow

Academic Year(s) Active


Course Enrolment


Primary Works on Reading List

Havi Carel, Phenomenology of Illness

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