Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine (GIHM)


The Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine was founded to engage issues at the interface of medicine and society, both medical practice and research. The Institute takes as its motto “The Medical Arts should enrich our sense of humanity; the Humanities can assist Medicine to become intellectually well-rounded and thereby make it better able to enhance human well-being.” Our research is committed to inter-disciplinary work, giving special emphasis to sociological methods that lend themselves to enhancing knowledge of how to promote well-being, both for individuals and communities.  Our pedagogy emphasizes multiple methodologies, but all are intended to stimulate student abilities to observe, reflect, analyze, and develop creative research of international interest.  Motivating both our research and our pedagogy is the belief that growth of knowledge, ethical and scientific, as well as cultivation of rational inquiry and compassion, are essential to the promotion of well-being. 



Our faculty has been recognized both nationally and internationally for their achievements.  They publish both nationally and internationally, in highly respected, peer-reviewed journals, both in English and in Chinese.  They also publish books and book chapters with internationally-recognized publishers.  In the Institute's brief history faculty have already successfully applied for a large number of research grants, large and small, that enable the Institute to promote the research portion of its mission, while also supporting students as they develop their own research interests.



We aspire to produce graduate students who developed the capability to develop and engage in lines of inter-disciplinary research, bridging the gap that separates the sociological sciences and the humanities from the medical arts.  We also strive to create an atmosphere in which students learn to develop ideas and techniques suited to large-scale, collaborative research projects.  The courses have elicited a high level of student satisfaction; indeed, results of a recent evaluation conducted by Taiwan's Ministry of Education pointed out that, “The professional performance of the instructors, in quantity and quality of research and service, is excellent.”  An emerging, and highly significant part of our research-oriented pedagogy concerns faculty deep engagement with multiple institutions and communities, ranging from the central government, to collaborating universities, and also to the local communities, including the villages of Taiwan's indigenous ethnic groups.



GIMH has nine full-time faculty members: Dr. Lin Yih-Ren, Institute Chair (cultural geography, ecological medicine, environmental ethics, indigenous community development studies, participatory research methods); Prof. Timothy Lane (philosophy of mind, science and philosophy of consciousness, cognitive neuroscience,  and neuroethics);  Dr. Kao Mei-Ying (medical sociology and statistical methods); Dr. Chen Chien-Yu, MD.,Ph.D. (medical ethics methods and reasoning, qualitative research, medical ethics teaching theory and practice); Dr. Shih Li-Wen (STS, gender and health, feminist techno-science); Dr. Ru Hong-Yu (medical anthropology, indigenous community health improvement, ecological medicine); and, Dr. Hsieh Tzung-Yi (ethics, contemporary French philosophy, philosophical reflections on public policy).



The institute is actively extending its international network. For the past few years, we have invited international scholars to lecture and consult on issues related to neuroethics, ethno-ecology, ecological psychology, consciousness research, and horticultural therapy. Our faculty members also actively participate in the international academic activities: for example, our Chair, Dr. Yih-Ren Lin is now the regional representative of International Society of Ethnobiology.  One of our faculty members, Timothy Lane, was also recently awarded Tennessee's Basler Prize for excellence in inter-disciplinary research.  Our Institute is also involved in a large-scale inter-disciplinary research project with the University of Ottawa.  And, in August, 2015, we will be hosting an international, inter-disciplinary conference dedicated to close assessment of David Rosenthal's Higher-Order Thought Theory.



We provide interdisciplinary courses on issues related to social medicine, ecological medicine and community care, consciousness, neuroethics, and STS.  Our curriculum structure allows students to develop their own interests and specialties, and form research-oriented collaborative projects with faculty whose expertise best fits students talents and interests.  We give special emphasis to a hands-on approach, getting students out of the classroom on a regular basis, so that they become actively engaged in research projects, both collaborative and individual.  Naturally, however, students come together for the core courses and seminars, where they give regular presentations to faculty and fellow students. GIMH has a wide interdisciplinary network of contacts and adjunct faculty who aid us in our pedagogical and research mission.



A distinctive characteristic of the Institute--a trait that is in addition to its research and pedagogy--is its direct engagement of social and medical issues. Seminars and activities sponsored by the Institute are often the topic of media reports.  These events, and media reports of them, are having a growing influence over social policy and its development.



A special characteristic Institute student is their varied background.  They come from a multitude of fields, and after graduation also fill numerous influential roles in society.  Whether as medical professionals, music therapists, educators, or even media personalities, many have become prominent in their fields.

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