Deborah Franklin and Nathan Carlin discuss dentistry in health humanities

By Angela Gomez, McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics
November 11, 2021

Where is Dentistry in Health Humanities?” is the title of a recent blog post authored by Deborah Franklin, DDS, MA, LPC and Reverend Nathan Carlin, PhD. The post appears on the American Journal of Bioethics blog and, in it, Franklin and Carlin discuss that dental humanities, like medical humanities, is a part of health humanities. Often, health humanities is used as alternative phrasing to medical humanities; however, Franklin and Carlin argue that, despite being a more broad term, health humanities should not replace medical humanities. Indeed, they believe the uniqueness of medical humanities, dental humanities, and nursing humanities should not be obscured because of their position under the health humanities umbrella.

More specifically to address dental humanities, Drs. Franklin and Carlin share details about the Clinical Humanities Certificate Program, a dental humanities program launched in 2015 at the UTHealth School of Dentistry with support from the McGovern Center. With 23 graduates thus far, this four-year program offers dental students ample opportunities to reflect, share, and work together to enhance their individual and collective capacities to care for patients in humanistic ways. Both authors, Franklin and Carlin, serve as the program’s co-directors. Dr. Franklin is faculty at UTHealth School of Dentistry and associate faculty with the McGovern Center, and the Reverend Dr. Carlin is professor and holder of the Samuel Karff Chair at McGovern Medical School. Rev. Carlin also recently assumed the role of McGovern Center Director.