Toward a person-centered medicine: Religious studies in the medical curriculum

David Barnard, Richard Dayringer, Christine K. Cassel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The role of religious studies in the medical curriculum derives from three important aspects of people’s engagement with religious belief and practice. These are (1) religion as a source of meaning, (2) religion as a source and framework for values, and (3) religion as an outstanding context for the appreciation of human diversity. By offering separate religious studies courses, or by introducing religious themes and content into students’ other learning experiences, the curriculum can foster the student’s respect for the individuality of the patient in his or her cultural context; heighten the student’s awareness of the patient’s-and his or her own-beliefs, values, and faith as resources for dealing with illness, suffering, and death; help students address any of the myriad value-laden aspects of everyday living that are part of the context of many doctor-patient encounters; and strengthen the student’s commitment to a person entered medicine that emphasizes the care of the suffering person rather than the biology of disease. The authors discuss the strengths and limitations of several settings for the teaching of religious issues in medicine, and suggest specific pedagogical approaches, readings, and resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-813
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward a person-centered medicine: Religious studies in the medical curriculum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this