Humanistic Medicine


The Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine (MSPHM) at NYU School of Medicine is dedicated to promoting humanistic values in medical education among young physician scholars.  The programmatic activities of the MSPHM cultivate the values of empathy, justice, respect, compassion, and communication in order to enhance insight into the lived experiences of both doctors and patients. 

Through innovative seminars, colloquia, and activities, the MSPHM enables students to pursue their creative and intellectual interests not necessarily covered in the core curriculum. By approaching questions in medicine through the alternative lenses of the arts, humanities, and social sciences, the MSPHM emphasizes the shared humanity of all those involved in the delivery and receipt of health care. 

As a component of the Office of Student Affairs, the mission of the MSPHM is to empower students to become humanistic clinicians, scientists, leaders, and advocates. However, our programmatic activities are open to all members of NYU, which means that students, faculty, and staff from diverse departments often sit alongside one another in MSPHM seminars and events. This inter-professional format fosters personal and professional development for all involved with the program. 


Our Spring 2014 Humanistic Medicine Colloquium “The Only Difference between a Researcher and a Patient is a Diagnosis” featured Dr. Susan Love—surgeon, researcher, advocate, author, and cancer survivor—in an onstage interview with NYULMC’s Dr. Derborah Axelrod. Dr. Love discussed her recent experience with AML, what is has taught her about the patient experience, and how it has colored her work in breast cancer advocacy and research. A video of their conversation is available below.

MSPHM Teaching Artist Laura Ferguson and the "Art & Anatomy" seminar were recently featured in a story by about Art in Strange Places.

The Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine recently hosted an art exhibit in the Medical Science Building Gallery here at NYULMC entitled "Art and Anatomy: Drawings." The exhibit featured drawings made in our Humanistic Medicine Seminar "Art and Anatomy" over the past five years. The seminar, created by Teaching Artist Laura Ferguson, is a drawing workshop that takes place within the space of the Anatomy Lab, offering participants an alternative mode of looking into, learning about, and relating to the inner body. The artists are our medical students, faculty, and staff. View selected works from the show and view photos from the opening reception.

This spring the Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine (MSPHM) continues to offer innovative and interdisciplinary seminars exploring the intersections of medicine and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Moderated by expert faculty, these seminars enable participants to pursue their creative and intellectual interests not necessarily covered in the core curriculum. View our exciting offerings for Spring 2014.

On April 3, 2013 The Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine (MSPHM) officially welcomed bestselling author and neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks to the NYUSOM community through its annual Spring Colloquium, "Physicians as Writers: Oliver Sacks in Conversation with Danielle Ofri." Dr. Sacks, who in 2012 was appointed Clinical Professor of Neurology, was interviewed onstage by fellow physician-writer Dr. Danielle Ofri, Associate Professor of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of the Bellevue Literary Review. The two of them explored the ethics of writing about patients, the impact of storytelling on the doctor-patient relationship, and the complexities of some of the neurological cases in Dr. Sacks' most recent book Hallucinations. The colloquium was attended by nearly 400 guests and was live streamed on the MSPHM website, where approximately 1800 viewers tuned in. Watch the full video here.

Contact Us

Michael Tanner, M.D.
Faculty Co-Director


 David Oshinsky, PhD
Faculty Co-Director


Katie Grogan, D.M.H., M.A.
Associate Director