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Using Medicine as a Tool of Social Justice: Putting Healthcare and Health Inequality in Social Context
What makes people sick? You probably know part of the answer: bacteria, viruses, physical injury, exposure to infectious disease, and biological changes in the body. But what else makes people sick? In this class, we will discuss the other mechanisms through which people fall ill: poverty, racism, gender inequality, environmental destruction, and other forms of social inequality.
This course is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in health and medicine. Medical schools across the country are implementing curriculum that focuses on the social causes of ill health, and even medical school entrance exams are requiring students to have a grasp on the social determinants of health.
In this 1-week introduction to the field of medical anthropology and global health, we will explore how doctors and medical students can work with the tools of anthropology and social science to better understand how social inequality makes people sick.
Students will be exposed to short readings, lively discussion and in-class activities, relevant video clips, and short group assignments to develop a better understanding of what makes people sick and how we can help.
The week culminates in a mock health intervention, in which students will develop strategies and tactics to address a current pressing health epidemic. This session will be of particular interest for students interested in pre-medical programs, public health, global health, social justice, or any career in the health science.