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Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care

The Joe W. Bratcher III Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care BDP offers a transdisciplinary curriculum to explore health, health care, healing, and social justice issues from a rich variety of humanistic perspectives. Students in the program learn about the global health system’s diverse histories and cultural contexts, the role of narrative in experiences of illness and caring, the impact of the built environment on health and healing, and the challenges of remaining resilient and connected when providing care for others. Guided by an interdisciplinary faculty that includes practitioners and scholars in fields ranging from medicine and social work to literature and anthropology, among many others, Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care cultivates skills and orientations central to any humanistic practice of health care. These include empathy, ethical sensitivity, self-reflection, and self-care, as well as historical perspectives, cultural awareness, an engaged approach to health equity and health justice, and an understanding of health care as a human right and communal responsibility. Connecting Experiences extend students’ learning beyond the classroom through research or internships with health clinics, community groups, or other civic institutions and spaces.

For a complete list of courses and requirements, view the Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care BDP curriculum sheet.


With 19 credit hours of coursework and Connecting Experiences, students may earn a BDP certificate in Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care.

Courses counting toward a BDP in Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care may also satisfy core, major, and elective requirements in a student’s degree plan. With planning, the BDP should not add time to students’ UT careers, but instead helps students choose the courses they already have to take in an integrated way.

Foundation Courses [4-7 hours]

Foundation courses introduce key methodologies and issues related to Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care.

  • Forum Seminar
  • Other Foundation Courses

Courses in a Strand [6-9 hours]

Students should work with their BDP advisor to choose strand courses that will focus the BDP on specific interests, and that will provide an interdisciplinary perspective. In order to create an interdisciplinary experience, students must choose courses from a variety of disciplines.

Connecting Experiences [6 hours]

BDP advisors assist students in finding meaningful connecting research and/or internship experiences related to Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care.

Health and Humanities Requirement

At least one of the courses counting toward students’ foundation or strand course requirements must focus on Health and Humanities. These courses are designated with “-H” on the curriculum sheet.

Integration Essay

Students write a three to four page essay at the end of the BDP experience, drawing together the different pieces of the BDP.

Faculty Panel

An interdisciplinary faculty panel guides students in choosing courses and identifying connecting research and internship experiences that allow them to explore issues related to Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care as they connect to students’ majors and career goals.