Stephen A. Bezruchka
G H 514
Examines societal determinants of heath of nations around the globe. Asks why there is an increasing inequity in health outcomes today? Topics include early life, population health biology, medical care, mental health, and the environment.
The course considers populations as the unit of study. How do different nations achieve different levels of health? Why is the US less healthy than a fifth of all nations despite spending almost half of the world's health care bill? When in the lifespan from the womb to the tomb is much of our health as adults determined? How much do personal behaviors matter?
Student learning goals
Describe the social, political and economic contexts that influence health of populations.
List reasons why substantial health disparities exist around the earth and within nations.
Analyze reasons for popular perceptions of health production based on individual agency.
Consider steps needed to be done in the US so that country's citizens don't die so young.
Describe why on the earth today live the richest and poorest people ever, as well as the healthiest and least healthy.
Critique the provision of health care services in producing health in societies.
General method of instruction
Each class section is divided into an hour for presentation of material and then twenty minutes of student-facilitated discussion of the readings for that day. The instructor does not participate in this but observes.
An open mind.
Class assignments and grading
Students have to write a paper, and present course concepts outside the class by screening a segment of a PBS documentary, Unnatural Causes, to an audience they organize. Students do a couple of self-reflection exercises to gauge how they see the world where health is produced.
Students are evaluated on the assignments as well as their effectiveness in doing the reading facilitation and their participation in class discussion.