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Abstracts sought for Medical Humanities Conference

by Mark Schwerin

July 7, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--A September conference--the first of its kind at Western Michigan University--will examine how the humanistic dimensions of medicine and health are a critical component of those disciplines.

The Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference takes place Thursday and Friday, Sept. 29-30, and comes as WMU has taken the initial steps in building a new medical school. The conference will explore a wide range of themes within the medical humanities, though a primary focus will be on why medical humanities matter, whether in the practice or training of health care professionals. A secondary focus will be on what the medical humanities are.

"We're excited about the conference because it gives WMU an opportunity to develop a national presence in the medical humanities, both by bringing in presenters from around the country and by being able to feature our own faculty," says Dr. Fritz Allhoff, WMU associate professor of philosophy and conference organizer. "The School of Medicine is catalyzing such great energy on campus, and the medical humanities have been a big beneficiary in this regard."

In connection with the conference, a call for abstracts for papers has been announced. Abstracts are due Friday, July 15, and should not exceed 500 words. Proposals should be submitted electronically in either doc./docx or .pdf format and emailed to All submission will be considered for both the conference program and for the poster sessions unless otherwise specified. Acceptance will be announced by Aug. 1.

The conference is being organized by the newly launched Medical Humanities Workgroup at WMU.

For more information about the workgroup and conference, visit WMU's Medical Humanities Workgroup online or email