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Humanities Distinction Track

Katie Priske, MA, Co-director (Writing/Humanities)
(319) 335-8051

Brittany Bettendorf, MD, Co-director (Writing/Humanities)
(319) 356-2413


The purpose of the Carver College of Medicine Humanities Distinction Track (HDT) is to encourage, support, and recognize medical students who pursue scholarship in ethics, writing, or the humanities. This track promotes students’ growth as professionals and furthers the promotion of humanism in medicine by allowing students to pursue an area of interest within a broad range of disciplines, including creative writing, literature, philosophy, religion, visual arts, music, and history, and also social sciences and public policy.  


  • To support and recognize students who make scholarly or creative contributions in the medical humanities.
  • To prepare students to integrate the medical humanities into their medical careers.
  • To prepare students to be effective promoters of humanism within the profession of medicine.

Declaration of Participation

Students should submit an Indication of Intent by December 31 of the M2 year.  M1 and M2 students who are uncertain about applying to the HDT are encouraged to complete one or both of the two activities required for the HDT during their first three semesters to assist their decision making process and, in case they apply, to facilitate the eventual completion of HDT requirements.  There are also advanced electives during the M3/M4 years that can help satisfy this requirement. (For more information, see Requirements and Graduation Criteria.).  Note: each student may earn no more than two distinctons. See Enrollment Policies Section 8 (Distinction Tracks) of the Student Handbook.