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Gift Boosts Students in Medical Humanities

May 14, 2010

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That's why, says Medical Humanities Program Director James Marcum, religion, literature, philosophy, economics, and more are incorporated into a holistic pre-med program that is the only one of its kind in the country. Yesterday, the program received the final installment of a half a million dollar gift from the DeBakey Medical Foundation in Houston that will fund scholarships for exceptional students. Says Dr. Marcum, these students gain a holistic approach towards approaching patients that is buttressed by the humanities approach.

Michael Attas is a Waco Cardiologist and Assistant Director of the Medical Humanities program. He says that the students' patients aren't the only ones who benefit personally from what's learned in the program. It's the students themselves who are better equipped to deal with a stressful profession.

Dr. Attas says the program teaches students far more than the already-demanding qualifications of the medical field and its ever-changing technology. It equips them to deal with the spiritual questions and dimensions of health. It looks to go beyond just curing people, but also promoting healing. That impressed incoming Baylor president Ken Starr, who lauded what's being done in the groundbreaking program.

The gift will fund an endowed scholarship from the DeBakey Medical Foundation, and will benefit some of the top students out of the 300-plus enrolled in the program. For KWBU News, I'm Derek Smith.

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