The fields of communication studies and the medical humanities intersect and inform each other in interesting and important ways; and yet, these connections are rarely made explicit. As such, this special collection of articles from scholars in diverse fields such as disability studies, communication studies, the medical humanities, philosophy, and medicine discuss the ways that these fields diverge and converge and what we can learn from one another when we dissolve disciplinary divisions. In this Guest Editor’s Introduction, I explore broadly how health communication studies informs the medical humanities and medical education, as well as how embracing the philosophical, pedagogical, and methodological approaches of the medical humanities can, in turn, expand and enrich health communication studies. I make my argument by drawing on the various ways the medical humanities can inform communication studies, as illustrated by the essays included in this special issue: by offering more expansive notions of forgiveness at the end of life and what it takes to authentically engage with “difficult” patients; by taking a more critical look at how clinical, social scientific, and communication research on disability, race, gender, or socioeconomic status might reify problematic stereotypes and generalizations; and by centering medical pedagogy on the question of who we want our future clinicians to be, rather than how we want them to behave.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes