Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 1013–1017 | Cite as

Why include the humanities in medical studies?

  • Giovanni Boniolo
  • Raffaella CampanerEmail author
  • Sergio Coccheri
Points of View


The relation between philosophy and biomedicine has been reassessed and rethought in the last few years: on the one hand, philosophy of science has paid increasing attention to actual modes of biomedical research and clinical practice; on the other, classes in philosophy, and more generally, in the humanities, have started entering medical curricula. However, the role of philosophy in medical education is not yet unanimously recognized, with situations differing significantly in various national and international contexts. In line with the tradition in Italy and other countries of reflecting on clinical methodology and with the recent initiatives at the crossroads between medicine and philosophy, this contribution aims to argue for the mutual relevance of medicine and philosophy in educational processes, and to suggest some possible forms of implementation of their interactions.


Philosophy of science for medicine Medical humanities Medical curricula 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors, Proff. Giovanni Boniolo, Raffaella Campaner, and Sergio Coccheri, declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, no informed consent is required.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Medicina Interna (SIMI) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Sciences and Specialist SurgeryUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy and Communication StudiesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.University of BolognaBolognaItaly

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