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Malia Naumchik

I agree with Patel's conclusion that a successful doctor needs development and education in the area of humanities on top of their medical school requirements. Patel majored in philosophy before entering medical school, and believes that experience helped her develop skills other medical students might have struggled with. She states that doctors need to utilize empathy and critical thinking and also become more emotionally and culturally aware. I believe that these qualities are important for doctors because their field of work is rooted in both science and personal relationships. Many doctors enter medical school because they are fascinated with science and the inner workings of the body. Although these doctors might be very knowledgeable, they may be more suited towards working in research. As Patel mentions, doctors experience "physical fatigue, emotional exhaustion, and cognitive weariness." The heavy emotional tolls placed on doctors will break down even the wisest of scientists if they have not become comfortable with opening their hearts and minds through studies in the humanities. Although Patel discussed her personal experience of the benefits of studying humanities, I think her argument would have benefited from examples of the struggles of medical students who had not taken these courses. In her last paragraph, she mentions the "increasing dissatisfaction within the medical profession...". I think that if she had found a way to correlate that statement to real life example, the detrimental effects of not taking humanities classes would be more pronounced.

Cayla Fowler

I agree with Patel, to be a good doctor one must be able to show compassion and empathy.To open her essay Patel began with telling her readers about her own experience with death and how she felt about the subject in doing so she made her argument more persuasive in my own opinion. Her main argument in the article is that students with a humanities background have a greater potential to make better doctors than those students who simply have a science background, when I first read this I was skeptical, but after Patel provided the evidence for her argument I couldn't help but think she had made a good point. Although I understood Patel's argument that students with a humanities background could make better doctors than students with a science background, I still can't help but question her point.

Tiana Rutledge

I believe that Patel understands the importance of compassion as well as having the proper training. It is important and comforting to know that our doctors are diverse and knowledgeable in their field. Patel expresses the importance of
what represents a good doctor. During the early stage of her career she discussed her experience with losing a child patient
which was her first time witnessing death. Her earlier experiences further validates her point on the importance of having a thouhtful and diverse doctor. Patel thoroughly explained when asked what is considered acceptable when you experience the death of a patient. Patel explains that it is just as important to have kind characterstics as well as being proficiently trained. Patel's experience persuaded me when she discussed witnessing death for the first time and feeling just as much pain as the parents.

Brandon Steven

Yes of course! Doctors need to be trained perfectly. This post sounds very useful for medical students. I would like to this shared post with my doctors friends.

Autumn Hall

I agree with everything Patel had to say. To be a good doctor you not only have to have the smarts but you also need to have a good manor when difficult events arise. I think that doctors need to find the perfect balance between compassion and not being to attached to their patients. I know it is important for doctors to know all their facts and anatomy but Patel makes a good point that when becoming a doctor you should take humanities course. This would help students learn in some way how to take better care of a patient.

Hallie Enos

Dr. Patel argues a great point, that doctors shouldn't be just science and facts with patients, they should show emotion with them.Despite knowing the hardships of the emotions with some patients, Dr.Patel still feels strong about her point made. She wants patients to know she cares and is compassionate, but at the same time let them know she is aware of everything medically going on in a more professional stance.As a student in the medical field, this was interesting and helped me think about her point/argument.

Nathan Bailey

Dr. Patel was very persuading and confident in what she is saying. I agree that learning humanities at the early stages of college would be very beneficial. I think it can improve the doctor's interaction with their patients. It would help them to be more compassionate, yet professional in a way that is respectable. This article has opened my eyes to what happens in the medical field and this will help me to gain that patient to medical personnel relationship. Doctors are seeing their patients at their absolute worst and knowing how to property treat them while being compassionate is the perfect care procedure.

Isabella R

I agree and see the benefits of taking a humanities as a major, minor or just taking some classes to help serve yourself and patients when working in hospitals or clinics. I could also see how others could debate on other majors or other paths to help serve and get into the medical field. I really liked your article and it let me see how humanities could help me with my career choice.

Munsif Chaudhry

Dr.Patel offers many reasons on why aspiring physicians need to be taught the humanities. One way would be that it helps students to develop critical thinking skills, understand a variety of viewpoints from different cultures, build empathy, and become wise about emotions such as grief and loss. These characteristics define a good doctor. Her argument is persuasive because doctors don't only need to know about medical science but the social and cultural context to implement better care towards patients.

Jack Caulfield

I totally agree with Patel, that humanities should be a big part of every good doctor's education. I understand why many doctors would rather the path of a science only background to become masters of their trade. However, Patel explains that there is a study proving humanities is just as good at preparing up and coming doctors. She also explains that education of humanities negates negative traits seen in many physicians so my obvious choice would be a broader skill set in humanities. As a patient, I always go back to the doctor who try especially hard to understand what my issue is. People are fragile and complicated both physically but even more so mentally. A profession where the lives and well beings of people (with loved ones) are your responsibility should include an increased sense of empathy and tolerance of the unordinary for the benefit of the patient. Doctors shouldn't have to take humanities, but all who desire to be especially good should.

Miguel Suarez

I strongly agree with the points Dr. Patel had and the reason for why it is important for doctors to have good skills in humanities. Patel started by sharing her first time experiencing death as a medical student and how she felt empathy this patient and other patients later in her career. As a philosophy major, Patel realizes that in order to be a good doctor, a person not only needs to be good with the scientific aspect of the career, but they also need to have good humanities skills. As stated by Patel, studies show that students that have humanities backgrounds perform as well as students with science backgrounds in medical school. This shows the earlier students are exposed to humanities, the better off they will be in the future. It is also important to be exposed to humanities earlier because people learn to deal with situations through experience; therefore, it is better for students to know how to deal with certain situations correctly as early as possible. I believe Patel had a good argument and she supported it well by sharing personal experiences and citing different studies.

Kimberly Shu

I believe that Dr. Patel has many valid points on why it is important for current/ future doctors, or anyone thinking about going into the medical field to not only have a strong background in science, but to also have a solid foundation in humanities. Choosing to work in the medical field is not for the faint of heart. In order to perform at the highest level an individual is capable of in diagnosing, treating, and deciphering the course of action on a daily basis will require personal endurance, intelligence, communication, passion, and an impeccable work ethic. For most students who are interested in a career in medicine, it is important to know that this type of field work not only requires “book-smarts” to successfully navigate through diverse patient care regimes, but it challenges an individual to relate to others on a humane level with a sense of compassion, ambiguity, and having strong morals as a few characteristics of a good doctor according to Dr. Patel. I can agree with Dr. Patel about putting more emphasis on humanities as apart of an undergraduate’s curriculum. As we move forward with our college career, students hoping to work in this type of field must learn to train themselves to be able to critically assess different situations, communicate with others inside and outside of the medical field, and become a source of strength for patients who are especially going through tough times, as we more often then not look towards doctors as a source for answers to our medical issues.


I believe that studying humanities will improve medical training. Humanities teach students to learn general knowledge and intellectual skills. Humanities include critical thinking and social skills. Critical thinking is an important skill for thinking. Social skills are an important communication. These will prove doctors’ understanding and empathy. First, critical thinking is an important skill for medical training. Critical thinking is a thinking skill. Critical thinking is thinking over and thinking clear. Critical thinker use applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating to understand true issues or the core of the problems. Then, they use observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, and communication to make actions for solving the issues. However, understand other’s view, respect a different culture, think with justice, and intellectual empathy is a critical thinking process. These are important for a doctor. A doctor controls the patients’ treatment. In the treatment, how to communicate with patients and patients’ relative are significant for doctors’ duty. The communication is a social skill, and critical thinking will help doctors to understand social skill. Second, the most famous universities agree with humanities is a necessary subject for the medicine. The universities include Stanford University, Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, the University of California–San Francisco, and King's College London. The most famous universities always represent the future medicinal technology. They lead medicine development and train top medicinal scientists. Their idea influences the world medicine. Also, most time, their judgments determine the world future destination. Therefore, people have a reason to believe the most famous universities’ judgment, humanity is a necessary subject for the medicine. Moreover, Patel’s example is a great example because the example proves humanities are important for a doctor. Patel’s three stages, which is as a medical student, as a doctor in training, and as a doctor in charge, use humanities to improve his medical training so he understands humanities is a significant subject for the medical training.


Patel, makes a great point by stating that a doctor should be more than just a brain. A part of being a good doctor is having a good bedside manner, and a part of having good bedside manner is having social skills. During Patel's story of the beginning of her medical career she explains how she learned how to deal with things in stages, in each stage of medical career she had to deal with a greater amount of traumatic events where her bedside manners were put to the test. I do find Humanities to be a very important course of study, that can be extremely valuable to everyone, but especially valuable to doctors.

Tiffany Hall

Patel reasons that doctors need a good foundation in the humanities because she believes that it “helps students develop critical thinking, understand the viewpoints of others and different cultures, foster a just conscience, build a capacity of empathy, and become wise about emotions such as grief and loss.” (paragraph 3) In Patel research she mentions in this article that “Only 3.5 percent of medical school applicants major in humanities, but their acceptance rate is higher (50 percent) than the overall rate (41 percent)”. (paragraph 8) Also, in one of Patel’s studies it “shows that medical students who are exposed to the humanities demonstrate higher levels of positive skills and qualities such as empathy, tolerance for ambiguity, wisdom, emotional appraisal, self-efficacy, and spatial reasoning—all important in being a competent, good doctor.”(paragraph 10) Patel’s argument is persuasive to me because she shows that she has done her research, and gives facts on why doctors need a good foundation on humanities.

Mayra Alvarado

I agree with Dr. Patel that having humanity skills of compassion and empathy makes a well-rounded or even better doctor than those that do not possess those skills. The article states that studying the humanities helps students develop critical thinking skills, and understand the viewpoints of others and different cultures. Patel is very persuasive and argues that to be a great doctor one must have a good foundation in humanities, she supports her argument with examples of recent studies conducted. These studies show that those exposed to humanities demonstrate higher levels of positive skills and qualities of empathy, emotional appraisal, self-efficacy, and many more. She also states that students who majored in humanities in college did as well or even better than students with a science major background. At the beginning of the article, Patel talks about three stages of her life: as a medical student, a doctor in training, and a doctor in charge. At each stage, she gives examples of where the emotional and vulnerable side of being a doctor can be seen. I believe that it is important for any health professional to find a balance where one can be compassionate to the patient, but also firm on decisions. In some circumstances, a doctor should be able to connect with the patient and show emotions, but also at the same time maintain a professional manner. Having Dr. Patel share her personal experience helps demonstrate how she has matured and grown in the health world by having the skills of humanities, something that maybe her peers could have not related to. After reading the article, I as a Bioscience major have now learned a bit more about the importance of humanities and how it can impart great skills in the health professional field. I think that every health profession school should put more emphasis on humanities courses, requiring students to take classes in their undergrad years. Taking humanities courses will strengthen the skills needed to be a successful health professional out in the medical world.

Kesha Patel

In recent years, the desire of attending medical school has increased for the younger generation because of the job security and payoff that comes with being a physician. When discussing the best major for undergraduate schooling, something in the STEM major seems like the obvious answer for the best preparation for medical school. However, physician Angira Patel argues that despite the common belief, a degree emphasizing humanities and the arts might best prepare students for their ultimate goal—to become a good physician. Patel argues that a science centric degree isn’t the most useful for a pre-med student because most of the pre-requisites needed for medical school like genetics, biochemistry, and anatomy are retaught in even more detail. While having a science degree might give exposure to the rigor of med school, Patel states that taking humanities classes such as philosophy and anthropology gives students the social skills needed to interact and empathize with patients. She also states that medical students that have graduated with a B.A degree are less likely to face physical and metal exhaustion because their knowledge on how to combat it acquired in undergrad. Humanities students are also more likely to go into primary care and psychiatry which are two medical field that are desperately needed in today’s times.
I agree with Patel’s statement of having a degree in a humanities field can help better prepare you for the emotional side that comes with being a caretaker. In a STEM concentrated field, analytical thinking is taught more than abstract thinking which causes the students to lose their ability to connect with patients in some of their most vulnerable times. Humanities majors are also able to handle the dark side of medicine like illness and death for an extended period because of their experience with emotions and reasoning, while STEM majors might deal with shock because of their limited exposure to the humane side of medicine. Also, to get into medical school, certain classes must be taken as prerequisites which allow humanities students to adjust to the actual rigor and pace the will be experiencing while earning their M.D. This assures that they don’t fall behind their STEM peers, while also having the unique ability to understand and respond to the patient’s needs.

Tabitha Chen

I’m of two minds about Patel’s claim that there is a misconception that only people who study STEM and hard sciences can attend medical school and become healthcare providers. On one hand, I agree that having a background in humanities is beneficial as a medical provider. On the other hand, I’m not sure if it’s reasonable to say that all students who study humanities don’t also have experience studying STEM and hard sciences. Humanities majors generally include studying languages, philosophy, morals and ethics, and literature. These subjects help people have a broader knowledge about cultures and our society, while also developing their “soft skills” and making them well-rounded people. Examples of soft skills include empathy, sympathy, and social development and awareness. All of the aforementioned skills are useful when having to interact with people on a daily basis, as a doctor or healthcare provider do. On the other hand, while Patel does provide data that supports her claim that there’s a focus on medical schools accepting students who have a background in hard science, this data results from prospective medical school students being encouraged to take classes that prepare them for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Therefore, any student who participates in the pre-med track, regardless of their undergraduate major, has a history in STEM and hard sciences. As such, while I may agree with Patel’s position that having a background in humanities helps doctors become more personable, having a background in STEM doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t also have experience in humanities.

Brandon Gillner

1) Some of the reasons that Patel offers in "To be a good doctor, study the humanities” for the importance of humanities in the medical field are that patients deserve doctors that are, "Who is thoughtful, professional, compassionate, understanding, humble, collaborative, wise, and knowledgeable". That it is important to teach doctors how to be able to cope with loss and be able to continue their job with the same level of professionalism. She also explains that taking humanity classes help to create a capacity for empathy and give a protocol to the doctors to know how to handle losses and console their patients family in their time of need. Patel's argument was persuasive because it would certainly beneficial for doctors in their professions to know how to properly handle doctor-patient relations without being emotionally detached or invested.

2)These examples strengthen Patel's argument because they show that she has evidence in her own personal experience and they also build her ethos that she has a basis for the claims that she is making. Although these examples strengthened her argument she should have given examples and accounts from fellow doctors that did not go take humanities courses and how they had to figure out doctor-patient relations by themselves. If she would have done this that would have made her argument even more compelling.

3)Patel should have provided more evidence and sourcing around the hyperlinks to establish credibility. Patel was right to summarize the documents but she gave the readers no grounds to trust the sources without additional research and reading the sources. If Patel would have simply explained where the source comes to us, it would have greatly strengthened her argument. Doing this would have let the reader known that it was from a reputable source.

4) I believe that part of being a good doctor is knowing how to handle and control your emotions. I think that consoling a patient's family after a loss is very important in giving a patient's family closure. However, not letting your emotions from one patient carry onto another, is important too because carrying an emotional burden around with oneself can affect one's work. I believe that doctors should show some emotion to patients so that they aren't detached, but shouldn't emotionally invest themselves in their patients.


Angira Patel argues that future doctors and physicians should consider taking humanities much more seriously than the hard sciences during undergraduate education and so on. Humanities is able to give those doctors a social and cultural foundation, according to Patel, that the sciences really can't give in order to allow doctors to cope emotionally. This gives a very persuasive argument because not only do doctors get involved emotionally with their patients, but some very often get mentally exhausted due to this, so how come they were never informed on how to deal with such things? This is where Patel’s powerful argument about focusing on humanities comes into play. She emphasizes the need for doctors to be able to acquire positive qualities like empathy and wisdom plus reasoning. Patel doesn’t fail to examine the humanitarian composure of a non-humanities major to a humanities major. It was actually proven that an exposure to humanities could be just as efficient to a scientific exposure when entering a medical program, but instead humanities gives another level of professionalism, knowledge, and understanding given off from the doctors to the patients. This allows me to strongly agree with Patel’s point of view. Not only do doctors need a scientific background in order to enter the field of medicine, but they need those elements which will allow them to become better doctors and leaders in the field.

Hailey Andrea

Doctors and those in the medical profession commit their lives towards giving care and helping patient’s physical well-being, however, the patient’s mental well-being is often forgotten. I agree with Patel in her argument as to why aspiring physicians should take humanities to express empathy towards their patients. While doctors must convey medical information with professionalism, they must also present themselves as compassionate, and make themselves available for the emotional needs of the patient. Patel explains that humanities give students the ability to display “....empathy, tolerance for ambiguity, wisdom, emotional appraisal, self-efficacy, and spatial reasoning”, having these traits allows a doctor to build trusting relationships with their patient. Medical care should not only state the science of the diagnosis but also include a humane, emotional connection. When doctors state the facts in a formal matter, they are creating a disconnect between themselves and their patients. This disconnect makes it difficult when trying to assess how their patients are truly feeling. I agree with Patel’s reasoning and believe that medical students should have a humanities background to improve patient-physician relationships.

Zachary Mayeux

The Doctor Knows More than the Paient well Dr Patel Or Any Of the Other Doctors Have Had to Go through a lot more time to get to where they are than the paient just as a student has to listen to a teacher because he/she is the authority so the paient should listen to the doctor because one they know a lot more and two they are going to help you get better if you let them.


1) Dr Patel supports that to be a better doctor it is important to study the humanities. Humanity students who have studied to get into a medical field, have a higher percentage of passing.

Her presentation indicates that to be a good doctor you must be ttemperate in attitude, logically balance your emotions, and console your patients properly. These can be referred to as emotional virtues.

Anyone who studies the humanities typically learn emotional virtues to understand how to process their emotions .While this is helpful in any career, it is especially needed in the medical field, as typically the phycological strain is usually much higher.
Through evidence she presents that every doctor should study the humanities to be better doctors. Yes, it does benefit doctors for themselves and their patience . However there are people who have not studied the humanities can be just as much practiced in emotional virtue. It does not simply a result of your degree, but of your personhood, and personhood can be grown in different methods through life.

w I think we can agree that doctors and other mmedical worker's should especially learn the humanities ,but i would like to argue that it is the ccontinuous practice of thinking ingrained in the humanities that should be the issue .Because to some extent we all are taught aspects of the humanities whether consiously in class or unconciously through navigatin life.
It is up to uall students to continue to put it into practice and to forever pursue the knowledge of humnanities weather conscious of its .

Tahjzhane Dixon

I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree with Patel that a good doctor is not just one who knows the science, but also one who understands how to relate and empathize with their patients. Patel argues that the humanities — such as sociology or philosophy — is critical in helping future doctors learn the skills it requires to relate to patients. She also argues that, as a philosophy major herself, the humanities taught her skills that she did not learn in her STEM classes. Patel shares that a recent study revealed that, “… medical students who are exposed to the humanities demonstrate higher levels of positive skills and qualities such as empathy, tolerance for ambiguity, wisdom, emotional appraisal, self-efficacy, and spatial reasoning” (Patel). Patel believes it is important to consider the emotional and social context of being a doctor. I agree with this sentiment because, as an English major myself who wants to become a doctor, these classes teach individuals about communication and helps them to advance their critical thinking skills, which are some of the key components to being a good physician. All these positive qualities seem like they are crucial to the anatomy of a physician and surgeon. I agree that the humanities are important for medical school applicants because doctors must use their social and critical thinking skills every day on the job. She made an excellent argument, and I felt she provided enough data and research to back-up her claims. I enjoyed Patel’s article because she touched on a subject that I feel is not talked about enough in the pre-med and medical student social sphere. From my own personal experience, it seems that medical schools place much emphasis on being proficient in the sciences, but they rarely speak of the humanities. I agree that a greater importance should be placed on future doctors to pursue humanity majors, or even simply study these techniques on their own. Either way, it would benefit them in the future when they are having to counsel a grieving family or comfort a fearful child during a visit.

Zsharylle P

Patel starts off by talking about a situation where an infant was diagnosed with a brain tumor and eventually died due to multi-system organ failure. She then questions how does a doctor deal with the death of a patient, that is when she answers why it is important to take humanities as class or even major in it. I agree with what Patel has to say, taking humanities is a great way to increase a patient-doctor relationship. Although biology, chemistry, anatomy, and the other sciences are essential when it comes to a medical degree, learning to deal with people is just as critical. The job of a doctor is to serve a family with the best possible care, how is one supposed to do that without empathy and compassion. I also think that psychology would be a great thing to study before going into the medical field, learning how the brain works and knowing how to deal with people especially in emergency situations. Critical thinking is something that is used on an everyday basis for doctors because they have to find the best possible plan for care, one wrong move can kill a patient. Grief and loss might be one of the hardest things people in the medical field have to deal with, caring for someone, give their all just so they can live, but sadly not enough. Not only do they have to comfort the family for their recent loss, but they have to deal with their own trauma while keeping a professional manner. They have to smile, put on a happy face and move on to the next patient that is waiting for them in the next room. As someone who is aiming for their bachelor of science in nursing, I will plan to take humanities to further enhance my care for patients.

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