Students funneled into the Maverick Activities Center’s outdoor court to sip on IV Kool-Aid packs and visit multiple booths that hosted representatives from different Arlington and UTA organizations at the inaugural Medical Humanities Fair on Friday.
The Mavericks for Medical Humanities student organization hosted the event. Karyssa Nelson, psychology pre-med senior and organization president, said the fair’s purpose was to expose the members to different interdisciplinary studies by inviting different speakers.
“We think that it's really important that future healthcare professionals are very well rounded, and that they've seen different aspects of their education,” Nelson said.
Medical humanities is all about integrating topics traditionally outside of medicine into the field, like fine arts, she said.
The fair offered guest speakers, a concession stand and various activities like coloring, a cartoonist and an art gallery, Nelson said.
Computer engineering freshman Ascel Abdel-Rahim said she wanted to attend because she likes learning new things and a medical fair would have different topics for her to explore.
“I think attending these is a fun way to just come around, get outside, get engaged with other people, even if you don't know anybody,” she said.
The event took several months to coordinate, Nelson said. Representatives from several UTA departments, medical schools and Arlington community groups attended.
The fair featured guest speaker Estevan Gomez, criminology and criminal justice senior lecturer, who’s also an ex-FBI agent.
Steven Gellman, medical humanities associate professor of practice, said one function of the fair was to attract potential members for the club and students for the Medical Humanities and Bioethics minor, which started in August.
Medical humanities is an interdisciplinary program that explores the historical, literary and philosophical aspects of medicine and health, according to the UTA website. Bioethics is the study of the ethical dilemmas of practices and research.
“Patients want to know their doctor, their health care provider cares about them as a person,” Gellman said.