Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care

Bridging Disciplines Programs allow you to earn an interdisciplinary certificate that integrates area requirements, electives, courses for your major, internships, and research experiences.

Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care 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.

Upon completion of 19 credit hours from the options listed below, you will earn a certificate in Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care.

REQUIRED HEALTH AND HUMANITIES COURSE: All students in the Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care BDP must, as part of completing their certificate requirements, take at least one course designated as focusing on Health and Humanities (-H). Health and Humanities courses may satisfy Foundation Course or Strand Course requirements.

Note: Course descriptions available here are from a recent offering of the course, and they may not reflect the description for the next offering of the course.

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Forum Seminar Courses   (1 credit hours)

All students in the Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care BDP are required to take the Forum Seminar.

PPCC Forum
BDP 101 Patients/Prac/Cul of Care
This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of healthcare, and the many potential roles of the healthcare provider. This Forum Seminar offers an overview of foundational concepts for understanding healthcare and providers in an interdisciplinary way, including culture and health, the built environment and health, narrative medicine, and healer resilience in relation to serious illness and end of life care. Guest teachers will have expertise on those four topics and will represent the disciplines of Anthropology, Architecture and Planning, Social Work, and Health Communications. From this Forum Seminar, students will develop an overview of exciting developments in modern healthcare, and the innovative, creative leadership roles that healthcare providers play in this new era of contemporary medicine. Interprofessional teamwork in healthcare will be emphasized.

Foundation Courses   (3 - 6 credit hours)

Foundation Courses introduce key methodologies and issues related to Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care. Choose ONE or TWO courses from the “Other Foundation Courses” category. If you choose to complete two courses from the “Other Foundation Courses” category, you will complete only six credit hours of Strand Courses.

Other Foundation Courses
AHC 330 GREAT WORKS IN MEDICINE
-H
"In keeping with spirit of Mortimer Adler’s Great Books of the Western World and Charles William Eliot’s Harvard Universal Classics, this course will thematically examine signature works in the history of medicine. This course meets the requirements of the Ethics Flag by directing the readings toward the issues and ethical dilemmas germane to medicine. To better understand the unique implications of the different areas of medicine, each week will entail reading a signature work that is representative of a key topic in the history of medicine (e.g. pharmacology, pathology, anatomy, surgery). After performing an analytical reading of a signature work in medicine, students will focus on discovering ethical principles in the text that have modern applications. This is an upper division course that also carries a Writing Flag. The writing assignments will consist of one long and one short research paper, graded online/class discussions, and peer review activities. The course is part of the Certificate Program in Core Texts and Ideas. Major Texts to be Studied: 'Hippocratic Oath'; Andreas Vesalius, 'On the Fabric of the Human Body'; Galen, 'On the Natural Faculties'; Rudolf Virchow, 'Cellular Pathology'; Dioscorides, 'Medical Material'; Soranus, 'On Gynecology'; Joseph Lister, 'On Antiseptic Principles'; Edward Jenner, 'An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccine'; William Harvey, 'On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals'; Benjamin Spock, 'Baby and Child Care'; Florence Nightingale, 'Notes on Nursing for the Laboring Classes'; 'Cassandra'; William James, 'The Principles of Psychology'; R. T. H. Laennec, 'A Treatise on the Diseases of the Chest and on Mediate Auscultation'"
ANT 324E CULTURE AND HEALTH
-H
This course considers the historical, social, political, economic, and cultural foundations of Western Medicine, and introduces students to alternative health systems. The course also considers the linkage between modern medicine and the construction of modern subjectivity and personhood, and analyzes local and global health disparities based on social, political, and economic inequalities. Readings will include theoretical, historical, and ethnographic texts.
ARC 327R INSIDE OUTSIDE HLTH ENVIRON
BDP 329 RACE AND MEDICINE IN AMERICAN LIFE
-H
This course examines the relationship between African Americans and the American medical profession from the era of plantation slavery to the present day. The course divides the history of this relationship into several periods: the era of plantation medicine during the antebellum period; the formation and propagation of ideas about African American health following Emancipation; the practice of segregated medicine up until the 1960’s; interactions between black and white physicians and the American Medical Association prior to and during the Civil Rights era; and the period from the 1960’s to the present. The course examines the persistence of medical racism in American medicine up to the present day.
CMS 330P Communicating with Patients
Effective communication between providers and patients and their networks of care enhances health outcomes. This course focuses on communication research, theory, and skill development relevant to health provider and patient encounters of all sorts. The course is designed for future providers and allied health professionals including but not limited to nurses, nutritionists, doctors, community health workers, health policy and malpractice attorneys, speech-language pathologists, child life specialists, physician's assistants, mechanical engineers, health technology developers and interface designers, child life specialists, genetic engineers, healthcare administrators, health scientists, epidemiologists, prosthetics designers and builders, and pharmacists. Students will develop their understanding and mastery of communication for improving patient outcomes while at the same time reflecting on the importance of communication for providers’ own wellbeing and professional success. Readings for the course will be interdisciplinary and integrated with a humanities perspective. Topics include active listening, narrative, cultural competency, research-based communication design, interprofessional collaboration, healthcare information technology, healthcare organizations and professions, and the future of work in health.
E 324L Literature/Health/Medicine
-H
This course will explore literary representations of illness experiences, of health-provider experiences (e.g., doctors, nurses), and of health care as a system made up of institutions, policies, and people. We will also work to understand the role that the humanities, and literary studies in particular, already plays in the education of health professionals and what additional roles it might—or should—come to play in the future. How can the humanities help counter the effects of a U.S. health system increasingly centered on technology and driven by economic imperatives? How do the humanities help make doctors and other health professionals more attentive and empathic to their patients? How can time devoted to reading and writing promote self-care among over-stressed health professionals?
H S 340 Cancerland

*Upper-division; instructor permission required.

This course will allow students to explore the social and cultural terrain of cancer research, treatment, and public policy in the United States. We will begin the course by asking, “what is cancer,” and what shapes our collective understandings of it as a disease in American society? We will read historical accounts of cancer, review epidemiologic and demographic data, and consult biomedical and oncological frameworks to set the stage for our social scientific investigation. We will then consider how social, cultural, environmental, economic, and political forces shape the incidence of cancer, as well as how these social forces shape research, diagnosis, and treatment of various manifestations of this disease. To begin, we will spend several weeks exploring how the social determinants of health influence cancer in society. How do race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexuality shape our collective conversations about cancer, individual and group cancer risk, cancer research agendas, and individual experiences of cancer diagnosis and treatment? We will also consider how the broader forces of environmental deregulation and economic inequality exacerbate cancer risk and prognosis for different individuals and groups. Research continues to show that lifestyle factors and behavioral choices shape the incidence of cancer across socio-demographic groups in the United States. How does stress increase one’s risk for cancer, and what dietary and exercise choices help reduce one’s risk of cancer? We will explore these questions from a sociological perspective, ever mindful of the structural constraints that make healthy choices easier for certain demographic groups. Finally, we will investigate how cultural ideas and social norms shape our understanding of different cancer diagnoses, treatment options, and the experience of cancer. We will examine how the politicization of health care in contemporary society directly relates to cancer. Specifically we will consider how cervical cancer prevention efforts have been politicized in the HPV vaccine debates and how political pressure to defund Planned Parenthood threatens to decrease access to routine cancer screenings for many poor and racial/ethnic minority women.
HIS 350R Women in Sickness & Health
-H
In this reading-intensive, “writing flag” seminar, students will explore the experience of American women, in sickness and in health. Students will learn about medical and biological views of woman and women’s health and the social context of those views. For the majority of humankind, health and illness exist in a social (and historical context). We will strive to understand how the views of medical science and social science intersected with women’s experience. And, of course, there was no such thing as a universal “woman’s experience.” Class, race, and ethnicity influenced women’s circumstances and the ways women’s health and ill-health was experienced and understood. We will consider these occurrences or issues in women’s lives and how these events affected women’s health (or illness) or affected particular understandings of women’s health: Menarche and Menstruation Sexuality; Fertility and Birth Control; Childbirth; Mental Illness; Disease, specifically Breast Cancer
HIS 366N Global History of Disease
-H
This course introduces major themes in the history of medicine through the lens of disease. It focuses on two questions: How have people defined well-being? How have they responded to illness? The course considers major diseases to understand their multiple meanings across time and space including: plague, cholera, influenza, sleeping sickness, PTSD, AIDS and malaria. Themes to be considered include changing theories of disease causality, the development of international public health policy, social understandings of the body, and the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. The course emphasizes the roles governments, medical practitioners, and patients play in the social construction of disease and health. Case studies from India, Brazil, South Africa and the United States will be analyzed through readings, lectures and films.
LAH 350 HLTH HLTH CARE HUMANITIES
-H
Exploring and cultivating relationships among health, health care, and the humanities has become an exciting area of research both nationally and, increasingly, on the UT campus. Humanities approaches have been shedding new light, for instance, on health inequities, including the lived experience of them, their historical and current causes, and strategies for addressing them; on shifting and contested definitions of health, as well as of ability and disability, both within the U.S. and cross-culturally; and on the role of narrative and other representational forms both in experiences of illness and as a mode of healing. Though primarily taught by Professor Barrish, the proposed honors course will take advantage of the interdisciplinary collaborations and momentum that have been developing at UT around the Health Humanities—a more capacious term than the Medical Humanities—by including guest seminar leaders from across campus. The broadly interdisciplinary nature of the field makes it an excellent fit for LAH’s bright, ambitious students.
N 310 COMM IN HEALTH CARE SETTINGS
This course is required for nursing majors. Introduction to theories and models of communication in relation to health care; basic factors affecting interpersonal communication in health care settings. Course Objectives: At the conclusion of this course the learner should be able to: 1. Discuss several theories and models that explain the communication process in health care settings. 2. Identify aspects of the communication process. 3. Identify the differences between social and professional communication. 4. Compare communication patterns in various stages of health professional interaction. 5. Identify how cultural and/or socioeconomic background can influence communication preferences in health care settings. 6. Identify communication techniques that promote effective interaction between health professional and client/patient. 7. Identify ways of facilitating communication in peer and team interactions. 8. Discuss aspects of organizational and group communication that differ from interpersonal communication as they occur in health care settings. 9. Discuss and apply the conflict resolution process. 10. Select and integrate appropriate research findings in the study of interpersonal communication in health care settings.
N 371 DISABILITY OVER LIFE COURSE
Disability over the Life Course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of disability as a distinct social and clinical concept with practical and theoretical implications for health care. This course will focus on the changing needs of persons with disabilities over the life course. Students will learn how to understand the health needs of persons with disabilities and how to work with them and their families so they may negotiate environments with appropriate accommodations that meet their health care needs.
PHL 325J Health and Justice
-H
Mass disparities exist in the health of humans across the globe. It may seem obvious from a moral point of view that if we can do something to alleviate the global and local disparities in health and access to healthcare, that we should do something about it. Once we scratch the surface of this apparent truism, however, we find a number of assumptions in need of defense. What would ground such an obligation after all? Do humans have a right to health? If so, do they also have a right to healthcare? It may seem that these two concepts are intertwined, but consider an analogy. Someone’s right to life makes it impermissible to kill that person (unless you would be justified in doing so, say in a case of genuine self-defense). Nevertheless, the right to life plausibly does not entail that you are obligated to protect or preserve the life of everyone who has such a right. Similarly, if humans have a right to health, then it would be impermissible to undermine their health. But it is a different question whether individuals are obligated to protect and preserve the health of others by, for example, ensuring their access to healthcare. The course will evaluate different frameworks for characterizing health-related injustices given the challenges to rights-based approaches.
PHL 325M Medicine, Ethics, and Society
-H
This course is an introduction to the philosophy of medicine with a focus on social policy and ethical issues. Topics covered include: conceptual and normative foundations of medicine; ethical implications of recent scientific results such as genomics and human embryology; medical explications of race and their implications for health; prospects and problems with human genetic modification and the possibility of eugenics; issues of equity and justice in public health including genetic screening and testing, compulsory vaccination, diseases of poverty, and neglected tropical diseases. Throughout, the emphasis will be on social context and normative analysis. The course will cover the following seven topics in sequence: • Concepts of health and disease. • Genetics, genomics, and medicine. • Ethics and human embryology. • Race and medicine. • Problems of public health. • Vaccination policy and practice. • Gene cloning, editing, and eugenics. The scope of this course is broader than that of traditional courses in biomedical ethics. It includes discussions of topics in medical epistemology (including aspects of the philosophy of biology) and the social and political contexts of medical practice.
S W 360K DEATH DYNG PRACTNER RESILNCE
Practitioners face palliative and end-of-life decisions with patients who are dying but are often ill- equipped to cope with the intensity of the feelings and conversations around these decisions. This course will help students to reframe these challenging interactions as opportunities to form meaningful connections with patients, families and caregivers, and to understand the significance of self-care, self-compassion, and the cultivation of resilience in the face of difficult situations. The course will concentrate on cultural, historical and theoretical components of death, dying and resilience in healthcare; communicative, psychological, and sociological approaches to terminally- ill patient communication and care; and methods of achieving wellness and resilience in the face of adversity.
S W 360K NARRATIVES OF CARE
This course is offered as an undergraduate level to learn information and skills related to effective communication between patients and healthcare providers as a cornerstone to enhancing patient outcomes. Experiential and applied learning models allow students to work throughout the semester in diverse teams. The course will employ a flipped classroom to allow students to be informed and ready to engage in classroom activities. Prior to class sessions students will have assigned readings and written assignments to complete. The goals of the course are to explore communication between patients and healthcare providers; to give students skills that allow them to best communicate about goals of care, quality of life, and care consistent with patient and family goals and wishes; to give students a greater understanding impact of illness on patients and families; and to explore narrative medicine, and reflective professional practice. Course content will include a student review of provider, patient, and family perspectives on topics and will promote competency in social work and other professional healthcare professional ethics. The importance of cultural and linguistic competency is intentionally woven throughout the curriculum. This course relies on class sessions that promote experiential learning including information gathering, group learning, case review and application, individual reflection, and group problem solving.
S W 360K DEATH DYNG PRACTNER RESILNCE
Practitioners face palliative and end-of-life decisions with patients who are dying but are often ill-equipped to cope with the intensity of the feelings and conversations around these decisions. This course will help students to reframe these challenging interactions as opportunities to form meaningful connections with patients, families and caregivers, and to understand the significance of self-care, self-compassion, and the cultivation of resilience in the face of difficult situations. The course will concentrate on cultural, historical and theoretical components of death, dying and resilience in healthcare; communicative, psychological, and sociological approaches to terminallyill patient communication and care; and methods of achieving wellness and resilience in the face of adversity.
SOC 308S Intro to Health and Society
The principle objective of H S 301/SOC 308S is to offer students a broad overview of health and society from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. We will examine how social forces influence health and disease in U.S. society, including cultural, economic, and demographic considerations. We will explore why rates of disease vary among different populations and how cultural and structural inequalities shape access to healthcare and affect morbidity and mortality. How do economic factors, politics, public perceptions of morality, and historical biases against specific populations shape our modern-day understandings and experiences of health and illness? We will also examine how social forces shape the very definitions of health, illness, and disease categories, and thereby medical diagnoses and treatments. We will consider the social consequences of the commodification of healthcare and how new technologies are transforming our current healthcare system and the nature of the patient/physician relationship. Our course readings and discussions will help us address current bioethical controversies that continue to influence our beliefs about health and illness and shape our very understandings about human rights and personhood. This course is built around lectures (including guest lectures), class discussion, and film screenings and discussion.
SOC 322F Mental Hlth in Social Context
This course is an overview of mental health and illness in social contexts. We will focus on the social antecedents and consequences of mental illness and the extent to which mental disorder is socially constructed. We will combine sociological, psychological, epidemiological, and biological approaches to better understand how the social aspects of mental health and illness interact with individual processes. We’ll also emphasize the diversity of mental health and illness by gender, race/ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, marital and parental statuses, and age. The objective of this course is for you to become familiar with micro-macro processes through which mental health and illness are affected by society and in turn affect social functioning of individuals. At the end of this course you will be able (1) to critically apply a sociological perspective to mental illness as a social phenomenon that transcends the individual level and (2) to understand the social etiology of and social inequality in mental health.
SOC 336D Race, Class, and Health
This is a course that takes a close and hard look at the health and health care disparities among racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States. The health disparities in the U.S. have been well studied by academics, public health officers, and policy makers for more than three decades. However, the disparities have not narrowed or diminished. The recent Covid-19 pandemic crystalized the impact of structural inequalities in the U.S. on health, disease and death among minority group members. In this class, we will review the complex relationship between social class (socioeconomic status) and health, social class and race, the effect of race/ethnicity on health outcomes and access to healthcare, and specific health issues for major racial/ethnic minority groups in the U.S. Course topics include: conceptual issues central to understanding how low socioeconomic status leads to poor health, understanding how conscious, unconscious, and institutionalized racial bias affects not only health outcomes, but also education, employment, social and physical living conditions, access to medical care. In addition, we will engage in discussions on ways to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity for racial/ethnic minorities. Health and health disparities are analyzed from biosocial and life-course perspectives. Social determinants of health and principles of health equity provide the underlying conceptual frameworks for this class.
SOC 354K Sociology of Health & Illness
This course provides an introduction to central topics in the sociology of health and illness. The material covered in this course will encompass individual, institutional and theoretical approaches to health & illness.  The course is designed to provide a critical framework for exploring how social, political, economic and cultural forces shape the understanding and experience of health and illness.  We will explore the following themes: 1) the social production and distribution of disease and illness; 2) the meaning and experience of illness; 3) the social organization of medical care; 4) health politics and health systems.

Connecting Experiences   (6 credit hours)

Your BDP advisor can help you find internships and research opportunities that connect Patients, Practitioners & Cultures of Care to your major and interests. We call these opportunities “Connecting Experiences” because they play such an important role in integrating your studies. Each Connecting Experience counts for 3 credit hours. You will need to complete two Connecting Experiences.

For more information and for examples of past Connecting Experiences, visit the BDP website and consult your BDP advisor. BDP students must propose Connecting Experiences to the BDP office. Current BDP students should view the BDP Advising Canvas site for Connecting Experience resources and proposal instructions.

Strand Courses   (6 - 9 credit hours)

In addition to your Foundation Courses and Connecting Experiences, you must complete 6-9 credit hours of Strand Courses, to bring your total credit hours toward the BDP certificate to 19 hours. You should work with your BDP advisor to choose Strand Courses that will focus your BDP on your specific interests, and that will provide you with an interdisciplinary perspective on your BDP topic. In order to create an interdisciplinary experience, you must choose courses from a variety of disciplines. Choose 6-9 hours of Strand Courses drawn from the following categories.

Please speak with your BDP advisor about your plan for fulfilling your Strand Course requirements. Note that only one of your Strand Courses may come from your major department(s), or from courses cross-listed with your major department(s).

Practitioners/Patients
ADV 322 HLTH COMM: MSSGS CMPGNS MED
There are three primary areas to be covered for this health communication course: 1. A discussion of health communication theories. Basic health communication theories, such as the Health Belief Model and Theory of Planned Behavior, will be covered as useful frameworks for approaching the design of health communication campaigns. Other fundamental concepts, such as health literacy, will also be discussed. 2. Instruction in health communication campaign design. This course will also cover the effective development of health communication campaigns. This will range from the process of formative research to developing messages to evaluating campaign effectiveness. 3. A review of health communication in the media and trends in health communication. This will include health information in different media (traditional mass media vs. new digital media), embedding of health messages in popular media (e.g., Grey’s Anatomy), health-oriented advertising (e.g., direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising), and coverage of media controversies related to health (e.g., the link between vaccines and autism). The overall objective for the course is to introduce students to a range of health communication topics, supplementing existing health and communication knowledge with new contexts and communication techniques. The course will also provide practical experience designing health communication campaigns, including strategies for evaluating the success of those campaigns.
ARC 327R INSIDE OUTSIDE HLTH ENVIRON
CDI 355.2 MAKING SYS WORK PEOPLE DIS-WB
In this course, we will focus on the social and cultural context of disability, with an emphasis on how disability is defined and understood at the micro and macro levels. Attitudes, language, and adjustment theories will be considered from a personalist view. A deep understanding of the longstanding social oppression of the disability community, as well as ways to initiate social change, are integral to the course
CDI 355.7 SEXUALITY AND DISABILITY-WB
In this course, we will review the intersection of sexuality and disability and the complex historical influences that impact discussions of sexuality in relationship to disability. The intersection of sexuality and disability is rarely acknowledged or analyzed. People with disabilities have been viewed as asexual, hypersexual, or as victims, where their agency as sexual beings is overlooked. This course will explore the social justice issues surrounding disability and sexuality using the perspective of social work values and ethics to guide learning. Particular attention will be given to the concepts of diversity and inclusion in relation to disability and sexuality.
CMS 330 Interpersonal Health Comm
Have you ever thought about... Why people keep secrets about their health? What it is like to date someone with a chronic illness? How doctors talk to their patients about death? What makes for a successful parent-child conversation about safe sex? All of these questions address examples of interpersonal health communication phenomena. In this course, you will become familiar with fundamental interpersonal communication processes that are involved in managing physical and mental health. Ideally, you will develop an awareness of how communication among friends, relatives, professionals, and others influences people's well-being, and how, in turn, health and illness shape communication and relationship dynamics. Topics covered will include patient identity, managing sensitive health information, social support, family conversations about health issues, and physician communication.
CMS 330D HEALTH DECISION MAKING
Messages about health can be confusing and frustrating at times, yet reassuring and motivating at other times. Family members offer suggestions for exercise, food allergies, and vaccines. Friends do their best to support each other through times of stress and mental health crises. Health care providers try to help us understand probabilities and risks involved in treatment. Advocacy groups work to educate people about social determinants of health. Creating effective, appropriate messages about health is challenging and important. This course is intended to help students learn about the connection between evidence-based health communication practices and evidence-based health decision making. Students will develop skills in making sense of complicated and ambiguous health information, and learn about theoretical concepts that describe and explain how people interact with such health information. Students in this class will also gain experience in analyzing effects of message strategies and will practice communicating about complex health topics in clear and compelling ways. By learning more about health communication research and practice, students will acquire knowledge that makes them better equipped and more empowered to make strategic decisions about both communication and health.
CMS 330P Communicating with Patients
Effective communication between providers and patients and their networks of care enhances health outcomes. This course focuses on communication research, theory, and skill development relevant to health provider and patient encounters of all sorts. The course is designed for future providers and allied health professionals including but not limited to nurses, nutritionists, doctors, community health workers, health policy and malpractice attorneys, speech-language pathologists, child life specialists, physician's assistants, mechanical engineers, health technology developers and interface designers, child life specialists, genetic engineers, healthcare administrators, health scientists, epidemiologists, prosthetics designers and builders, and pharmacists. Students will develop their understanding and mastery of communication for improving patient outcomes while at the same time reflecting on the importance of communication for providers’ own wellbeing and professional success. Readings for the course will be interdisciplinary and integrated with a humanities perspective. Topics include active listening, narrative, cultural competency, research-based communication design, interprofessional collaboration, healthcare information technology, healthcare organizations and professions, and the future of work in health.
E 324L Literature/Health/Medicine
-H
This course will explore literary representations of illness experiences, of health-provider experiences (e.g., doctors, nurses), and of health care as a system made up of institutions, policies, and people. We will also work to understand the role that the humanities, and literary studies in particular, already plays in the education of health professionals and what additional roles it might—or should—come to play in the future. How can the humanities help counter the effects of a U.S. health system increasingly centered on technology and driven by economic imperatives? How do the humanities help make doctors and other health professionals more attentive and empathic to their patients? How can time devoted to reading and writing promote self-care among over-stressed health professionals?
EDP 354G PSY OF AFRICAN AMER EXPERIENCE
This course is an introduction to understanding the psychology of people of African descent. The course examines the psychology of people of African descent using an African-centered (Afrocentric) liberatory conceptual model. Alternative conceptual models of African/Black psychology will also be examined. Topics that will be covered in the course include Ancient African philosophical underpinnings of African/African American psychology, the psychological impact of enslavement, Black/African/African American identity and personality development, psychological issues in educating Africans/African Americans, aggression, violence, crime, mental health, and the psychological impact of hip hop. This course is reading intensive; therefore, it is critically important that all assigned readings are completed prior to each class in order that a high-level, scholarly discussion will ensue. The nature of the topics addressed in this course is such that rote lecturing is deemed by me to be inappropriate. The course is thus designed primarily as a seminar where class discussion is expected. I will only lecture in instances when the material is particularly challenging. I expect that you will come prepared every class to engage in a focused exchange of ideas related to the various readings. I will facilitate these exchanges, making appropriate commentary as necessary.
H S 340 9-VALUING MENTAL HEALTH
Students will learn how to value health in general and mental health specifically. We will compare and contrast notions of health and illness; non-communicable disease and mental illness; and relative valuations in health and mental health. To this end, students will debate mental health policy, design a universal health care-style benefits package, and draft a short legislative-style position paper. Using plays, poems, short stories, audio clips and videos, we will explore personal accounts of illness and disability and compare them to societal and cultural beliefs about health. We will then assess the ethical implications and economic ramifications of these beliefs on valuing health (and secondarily on health behaviors, interventions, and policies). Through our work valuing mental health, students will acquire a lasting framework to develop sound, sensitive, and defensible opinions about mental health.
HIS 350R Women in Sickness & Health
-H
In this reading-intensive, “writing flag” seminar, students will explore the experience of American women, in sickness and in health. Students will learn about medical and biological views of woman and women’s health and the social context of those views. For the majority of humankind, health and illness exist in a social (and historical context). We will strive to understand how the views of medical science and social science intersected with women’s experience. And, of course, there was no such thing as a universal “woman’s experience.” Class, race, and ethnicity influenced women’s circumstances and the ways women’s health and ill-health was experienced and understood. We will consider these occurrences or issues in women’s lives and how these events affected women’s health (or illness) or affected particular understandings of women’s health: Menarche and Menstruation Sexuality; Fertility and Birth Control; Childbirth; Mental Illness; Disease, specifically Breast Cancer
N 310 COMM IN HEALTH CARE SETTINGS
This course is required for nursing majors. Introduction to theories and models of communication in relation to health care; basic factors affecting interpersonal communication in health care settings. Course Objectives: At the conclusion of this course the learner should be able to: 1. Discuss several theories and models that explain the communication process in health care settings. 2. Identify aspects of the communication process. 3. Identify the differences between social and professional communication. 4. Compare communication patterns in various stages of health professional interaction. 5. Identify how cultural and/or socioeconomic background can influence communication preferences in health care settings. 6. Identify communication techniques that promote effective interaction between health professional and client/patient. 7. Identify ways of facilitating communication in peer and team interactions. 8. Discuss aspects of organizational and group communication that differ from interpersonal communication as they occur in health care settings. 9. Discuss and apply the conflict resolution process. 10. Select and integrate appropriate research findings in the study of interpersonal communication in health care settings.
NSC 323 DIFF DISCUSSIONS IN HEALTH-WB
Training for healthcare professionals has long emphasized technical knowledge and assumed that communicating expertise would come naturally. It is increasingly clear that nontechnical skills (e.g. effective communication strategies, emotional intelligence, cultural humility, etc.) are also important to help people get and stay healthy. In this seminar, students interested in health professions can begin to learn and practice helpful communication strategies. Guest speakers from various clinical and professional backgrounds will help introduce pre-health professionals to aspects of effective communication using group dialogues and practical exercises
RHE 330E DISABILITY RHETORICS
-H
Bridging disability studies with rhetorical criticism, this class explores the role of communication in constructing disability—in excluding or otherwise making more difficult the lives of those whose bodies and behaviors do not conform to normative expectations. We will consider how rhetorics about disability shape understandings of “normal” and “natural,” how those rhetorics establish and enforce the conditions for social participation, and how disabled people have pushed back against normalizing standards. With disability as analytical lens, as resistance, as invention, and as worldmaking, we will consider what other worlds are made possible by the innovations of disabled experiences and perspectives.
S W 360K NARRATIVES OF CARE
This course is offered as an undergraduate level to learn information and skills related to effective communication between patients and healthcare providers as a cornerstone to enhancing patient outcomes. Experiential and applied learning models allow students to work throughout the semester in diverse teams. The course will employ a flipped classroom to allow students to be informed and ready to engage in classroom activities. Prior to class sessions students will have assigned readings and written assignments to complete. The goals of the course are to explore communication between patients and healthcare providers; to give students skills that allow them to best communicate about goals of care, quality of life, and care consistent with patient and family goals and wishes; to give students a greater understanding impact of illness on patients and families; and to explore narrative medicine, and reflective professional practice. Course content will include a student review of provider, patient, and family perspectives on topics and will promote competency in social work and other professional healthcare professional ethics. The importance of cultural and linguistic competency is intentionally woven throughout the curriculum. This course relies on class sessions that promote experiential learning including information gathering, group learning, case review and application, individual reflection, and group problem solving.
S W 360K Loss & Grief: Indiv/Fam Persp
This course will give students an opportunity to explore and understand their personal perceptions and beliefs about death and dying and how individual cultural differences influence that experience and prepare them for working with diverse clients on their losses and manifestations of grief. The course examines issues of death, dying, and non-death losses that elicit grief responses and explores ways the mourner finds meaning in life after a significant loss. We look at a range of factors (involving the individual, family, community, and society) that can impact (impede or facilitate) the grief experience of individuals and families. Grief will be explored from lifespan developmental tasks perspective (from prenatal development through late adulthood) within the context of multiple types of family structure and socio-economic and cultural systems. An emphasis will be placed on both personal and professional applications of course information. The philosophy underlying this course is in line with the “Statements on Death, Dying and Bereavement” (1994) of the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement. The introduction states: “Death, dying and bereavement are fundamental and pervasive aspects of the human experience. Individuals and societies can only achieve fullness of living by understanding and appreciating these realities. The absence of such understanding and appreciation may result in unnecessary suffering, loss of dignity, alienation, and diminished quality of living. Therefore, education about death, dying and bereavement is an essential component of the educational process at all levels, both formal and informal.” (IWG, 1994)
S W 360K SOC CONSTRUCTION OF DISABIL-WB
In this course, we will focus on the social and cultural context of disability, with an emphasis on how disability is defined and understood at the micro and macro levels. Attitudes, language, and adjustment theories will be considered from a personalist view. A deep understanding of the longstanding social oppression of the disability community, as well as ways to initiate social change, are integral to the course.
S W 360K SEXUALITY AND DISABILITY-WB
In this course, we will review the intersection of sexuality and disability and the complex historical influences that impact discussions of sexuality in relationship to disability. The intersection of sexuality and disability is rarely acknowledged or analyzed. People with disabilities have been viewed as asexual, hypersexual, or as victims, where their agency as sexual beings is overlooked. This course will explore the social justice issues surrounding disability and sexuality using the perspective of social work values and ethics to guide learning. Particular attention will be given to the concepts of diversity and inclusion in relation to disability and sexuality.
Forms of Wellness/Illness/Healing
AMS 315 DRUG HISTORY IN THE AMERICAS
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The study of drugs as a global phenomenon is loaded with important implications for public health, politics, and democracy. At the same time, this topic is freighted with misunderstanding, prejudice, and questionable data. Our primary goal in this undergraduate course is to critically examine pertinent themes related to this topic from varied historical/contemporary, national/transnational, and interdisciplinary perspectives, with particular attention to the United States and Mexico.
ANS 340 DEATH DYING IN SOUTH ASIA
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“It is hard to have patience with people who say, ‘There is no death’ or ‘Death doesn’t matter.’ There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible.” (C.S. Lewis 1996 [1961]: 15) Subscribing to these short but powerful statements, this course explores the various beliefs, practices, attitudes, and understandings of the dying experience, death, and the afterlife across South Asian cultural areas. During the course of the semester, we will be looking at the philosophical, ethical, and legal issues of death from a variety of perspectives. We will explore in detail how South Asian religious traditions have been approaching the problem of death within their broader cultural, historical, and social contexts. We will focus on various religious traditions, among others Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Central themes will include the changing meaning of death, the contemporary issue of the medicalization of death, and the funeral service industry. Discussions will center on the questions of ‘What is a good death?’, ‘What does the end of life mean for oneself and for others?’ and most basically but importantly ‘What is life?’ and ‘How is it envisioned after death?’ We will work with religious and philosophical treatises on death, as well as with different types of literary forms, ethnographies, documentaries, and feature-length films.
ANS 361D HIST FOOD HEALING CHINA TAIWAN
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(No background in Chinese language, culture or history required.) In Chinese history, food and healing shared the same set of cosmological assumptions, all of which had to do with harmonizing the “vital energy,” “breath” or “life force” (qi ?) of the body with the mind. The Chinese holistic approach to the concept of “well-being” by eating, taking medicine and engaging in healing arts, was to ensure that all of these activities created a healthy balance. Lectures, discussion and coursework will focus on the cultural, historical, social, and scientific background against which the relationship of food and healing have evolved through history. The course will address how this holistic approach has manifested in China and Taiwan today and form the basis of the final research inquiry projects, some of which may also be applied to Austin and Houston locales. Introduction – What is the connection of food and healing in Chinese history? Section I – Concepts of well-being, the mind and body, “health and healing” Section II – History of relationship between food and healing, food as medicine Section III – Healing Practices in China and Taiwan
ANT 324E CULTURE AND HEALTH
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This course considers the historical, social, political, economic, and cultural foundations of Western Medicine, and introduces students to alternative health systems. The course also considers the linkage between modern medicine and the construction of modern subjectivity and personhood, and analyzes local and global health disparities based on social, political, and economic inequalities. Readings will include theoretical, historical, and ethnographic texts.
ANT 324J HIV AIDS ACTIVISM HEAL ARTS
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The AIDS pandemic is still far from over. This course explores the historical and contemporary phenomenon of HIV/AIDS principally in the art and activism of the African Diaspora. For over three decades we as a species have been using activism and artistry to champion the cause, mourn the dead, prevent infection and encourage healthy HIV+ lives. Here in the United States, in the American South, and at UT, we are part of a global movement of contagiously creative and infectiously passionate people determined to honour, preserve and celebrate life in this age of AIDS. Throughout the semester, we will gather local and international resources, tools and strategies vital for our global wellbeing.
ART 355 Aesthetics of Health
In this course, the Department of Art and Art History partners with Livestrong Cancer Institutes to explore the intersection of art and healthcare. By creating art with and for cancer patients, caregivers, and clinical staff, Aesthetics of Health students use their art to make connections and build relationships with others in a clinical setting. This is a wonderful class for students interested in community-based practice, the application of therapeutic arts, science and medicine, and inserting a higher level of empathy into their creative work.
C C 340 Food/Hlth/Cul Anct Mediterr
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Until recently, ancient food has tended to be discussed mainly by modern scholars or scientists who may have only a superficial knowledge of ancient cultures. Classicists and ancient historians of previous generations tended to neglect the subject, which was considered much less important than the life of the mind. In their eyes, attention to food and food preparation was more characteristic of the trades than it was of scholarship, and was at best a hobby. The great human dramas of antiquity, after all, center not on the body but on the soul and its limits. These sentiments have a long pedigree: we can thank Plato, writing roughly 2400 years ago, for their clearest expression. The past thirty years, however, have seen a resurgence of interest in the foodways of the ancient Mediterranean, and this is now a subject that we can address in detail and from many different angles. In fact, the ancient Mediterranean arguably provides us with one of the best laboratories for the analysis of the interrelations between food, health, and culture: not only do these cultures offer a full range of artistic and archaeological evidence for food and foodways, but both also produced a self-conscious and extensive literary corpus related to eating and drinking. Furthermore, the societies around the Mediterranean sea were like us (urban, literate, sophisticated, even globalized), yet different enough that we can see their food choices in a more objective light. By looking at such choices, we can gain a better understanding of the broader social contexts in which they were embedded. Interdisciplinary investigation is crucial in this attempt, both because the subject is so fundamentally physical and because textual sources are often ambiguous, misleading, or silent on the topic.
C C 348 14-ANCIENT GREEK MEDICINE
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From the use of the Hippocratic Oath in the Nuremberg trials to William Harvey’s engagement with the “divine Galen” in his monumental study of the circulation of blood, it is quite clear that ancient Greek medicine has had a profound influence on Western medicine and society. To gain a better understanding of this relationship, this course thematically examines the historical reception of the theories and practices of Greco-Roman physicians. By examining ancient Greek medicine in light of the modern fields of pathology, surgery, pharmacology, therapy, obstetrics, psychology, anatomy, medical science, ethics, and education, the student will gain not only a better understanding of the foundations of Western medicine but also an appreciation for how medical terms, theories, and practices take on different meanings with changes in science and society. Course material will be a combination of primary and secondary readings.
CDI 355.1 Social Construction of Disability-Wb
The course explores the concept of disability as a “social construction.” by presenting some of the models and theoretical frameworks and past histories for understanding disability. This introductory course to the interdisciplinary field of disability studies provides an understanding of disability and people with disabilities from an empowerment model. Through directed reading and scholastic research, this course explores how attitudes, perception and portrayal of people with disabilities have contributed to discrimination, marginalization, or inclusion of individuals with disabilities. The course is designed for students who have an interest in disability studies including those students in social work, nursing, psychology, public health, kinesiology, neuro science, special education, communication science and disorder, human ecology, and pharmacy. Course assignments will allow students to investigate their own areas of interest in disability.
CDI 355.3 Aging and Disability-WB
This course provides an introduction to individuals who are either chronologically older or who may be experiencing functional changes typical of older persons. This course identifies strategies for supports for families, friends, service providers, organizations, and members of the community to improve the lives of older persons. This course will be a mixture of lecture and discussion, and students will learn to understand, evaluate, and interpret scholarly articles on disability. Students will also improve their writing and critical thinking skills.
CDI 355.6 Women with Disabilities-WB
The purpose of this course is to deeply explore the unique issues, concerns and experience of being a woman with a disability. To that end: * The student will understand both disability and gender as socially conferred statuses, not a fixed attributes of the individual. *The student will identify how attitudes and beliefs about disability and gender may impact the personal and social view of disability. *The student will identify and discuss some of the specific issues that influence women with disabilities. *The student will examine the complex interplay of social, political, and economic forces as they relate to women and disability. *The student will examine the complex interplay of culture, gender, and disability in the concerns, issues, and experience of women with disabilities. *The student will understand the longstanding social oppression of the disability community, and of women, and consider ways to initiate social change.
EDP 352K MINDFULNESS COMPASSION SELF
The goal of this course is to give you an understanding of mindfulness, self- compassion, compassion for others, and the nature of the self from both a Western and Eastern perspective. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in these topics, as well as a dramatic increase of research studies on the benefits of mindfulness and compassion for mental health. This course will not only cover research into mindfulness and compassion, it will also provide you with first-hand experiential knowledge of these states through meditation and other exercises (meditation will be taught in a secular context). Because of the relevance of mindfulness and compassion for our own lives, readings will be drawn from both academic and non-academic sources, so that topics can be understood from each perspective. Video clips will also be used to illustrate concepts. You will be expected to take responsibility for your own learning process, which means taking an active part in making sense of the readings, practicing the exercises, and participating in class discussions.
EDP 376T 3-DISABILITY CULTURE IN EDUCTN
Course Objectives This course has the following objectives: Objective 1: Understand disability as a culture. Objective 2: Think critically about language surrounding disability. Objective 3: Consider how technological spaces influence identity development. Objective 4: Examine the relationship between education, family and work.
F A 371 ARTS AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
The arts have the capacity to facilitate deep connection and community healing. Arts organizations are now prioritizing and funding programming that connects artists and teachers directly with individuals and communities experiencing challenges like homelessness, mental or physical health diagnoses, social/racial inequity, trauma, and others. This course is designed for students who want to use their creative skills to build a career that directly contributes to positive social change and the wellbeing of others. Led by Dr. Travis Marcum, enrollees will learn from national arts leaders about program building, artistic direction, and education for the greater good. Students will engage in collaborative creative projects and join local community organizations in action.
GRG 322D Human Health & the Environment
Each year, hundreds of chemicals are found in Americans of all ages, including lead, mercury, dioxins and PCBs. Studies have detected antibacterial agents from liquid soaps in infants' cord blood, breast milk, and children’s urine. PBDEs, or flame retardants, which can have negative impacts on learning and memory, show up in fabrics, upholstery, mattresses, and electronics, and leach out into household air and dust. News magazines call autism an ‘epidemic.’ Pollution is an affliction of the industrial age, and remains one of the most vexing unintended consequences of economic growth. This course discusses these contemporary, and often controversial, issues in environmental health, focusing on how today's environmental issues directly affect our health. Of particular interest in environmental morbidity is the unequal distribution of exposures among people of different socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. Poor people are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards, in the home, in school and workplace, and outdoors. Toxic environmental exposures typically cannot be easily controlled individually, and therefore are heavily determined by our larger community and political decisions. Accordingly, this course focuses on the decision-making process and the larger concept of environmental ethics. Because toxic exposures from manufactured chemicals could potentially be avoided by not using the chemicals in the first place, many ethical questions, dilemmas, and controversies arise in this course. For example, fossil fuels and human health – how should the short-term gains of using fossil fuels be weighed against the longer-term health consequences of respiratory and cardiopulmonary disease? Or obesity, under-nutrition, and starvation - the simultaneous existence of these conditions, particularly in one country, reveals a problem in environmental justice. Accordingly, we examine the relationship between humans and nature, and discuss the concepts of sustainability and resilience, and global health.
GRG 334E Children's Environmental Health
This course discusses these contemporary, and often controversial, issues in environmental health, focusing on how today's environmental issues directly affect children. Environmental contaminants often affect children differently, and more intensely, than they do adults. Pound-for-pound, children eat more food, drink more water, and breathe more air than do adults, which exposes them to higher levels of toxicants. Children engage in activities differently than do adults, such as putting their hands in their mouths, playing on the ground, and putting objects in their mouths, which can result in more intense exposures to contaminants. In addition, environmental contaminants may affect children disproportionately because children are not fully developed - environmental contaminants can interfere with critical pathways of development, their immune systems are not fully functioning, and their ability to remove toxins is less effective. The thousands of chemicals children are exposed to have undergone little to no toxicity testing and their potential health dangers to children are generally unknown. These exposures, in conjunction with the public health achievements of vaccines and antibiotics, have shifted the nature of childhood illness in developed countries from communicable disease to one of chronic illness. The childhood face of toxic environmental exposures is both chronic and acute – from asthma exacerbated by air pollution to delayed development from lead in paint to the complex, chronic conditions of multiple origins, like autism. These are known as the “new pediatric morbidity.” Of particular interest in this new pediatric morbidity is the unequal distribution of exposures among children of different socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. Poor children are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards, in the home, in school, and outdoors.
H S 340 Cancerland

*Upper-division; instructor permission required.

This course will allow students to explore the social and cultural terrain of cancer research, treatment, and public policy in the United States. We will begin the course by asking, “what is cancer,” and what shapes our collective understandings of it as a disease in American society? We will read historical accounts of cancer, review epidemiologic and demographic data, and consult biomedical and oncological frameworks to set the stage for our social scientific investigation. We will then consider how social, cultural, environmental, economic, and political forces shape the incidence of cancer, as well as how these social forces shape research, diagnosis, and treatment of various manifestations of this disease. To begin, we will spend several weeks exploring how the social determinants of health influence cancer in society. How do race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and sexuality shape our collective conversations about cancer, individual and group cancer risk, cancer research agendas, and individual experiences of cancer diagnosis and treatment? We will also consider how the broader forces of environmental deregulation and economic inequality exacerbate cancer risk and prognosis for different individuals and groups. Research continues to show that lifestyle factors and behavioral choices shape the incidence of cancer across socio-demographic groups in the United States. How does stress increase one’s risk for cancer, and what dietary and exercise choices help reduce one’s risk of cancer? We will explore these questions from a sociological perspective, ever mindful of the structural constraints that make healthy choices easier for certain demographic groups. Finally, we will investigate how cultural ideas and social norms shape our understanding of different cancer diagnoses, treatment options, and the experience of cancer. We will examine how the politicization of health care in contemporary society directly relates to cancer. Specifically we will consider how cervical cancer prevention efforts have been politicized in the HPV vaccine debates and how political pressure to defund Planned Parenthood threatens to decrease access to routine cancer screenings for many poor and racial/ethnic minority women.
HED 329K Child and Adolescent Health
The foundations of child, adolescent, and adult health; health education; and the biological, environmental, and behavioral health determinants of health. Includes the application of evidence-based child, adolescent, and adult health promotion concepts; prominent health risk behaviors established during youth that increase the risk of morbidity and mortality; and the application of personal health and wellness information.
HED 335 THEORS OF SUBSTNC USE & ABUSE
This course will provide an introduction to the field of substance use and abuse. Writing assignments will be used to advance your understanding and critique of the theories of substance use/abuse, as well as the psychological, social, pharmacological, and cultural aspects of this field of study.
HED 370K Foundations of Peer Support and Social Wellness
All students in this course have been selected to participate in the Longhorn SHARE Project, a new mental health and social connection-focused peer support program in the Longhorn Wellness Center. Our goal is to increase all students’ capacity to: a) confidently and effectively provide empathetic, non-clinical peer-to-peer support, and b) co-create inclusive group spaces where self-exploration, growth, and genuine social connection can occur. Students will learn relevant health, behavioral, and social theories, explore common concerns of today’s college students, hone a variety of interpersonal and helping skills, and receive guidance in maintaining ethical boundaries, managing conflict, making appropriate referrals, and responding to peers in distress. Students in this course will also be required to complete Mental Health First Aid training to become certified in MFHA (more details below). In preparation for the Fall 2022 semester, students will give group presentations on common challenges faced by college students with suggestions for peer-based interventions; record and reflect upon a peer support roleplay scenario with a partner to demonstrate active listening skills; and submit a proposal with a partner for a peer support group relevant to their lived experiences and/or interests.
HIS 350L Medicine In African History
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How do societies understand illness? How do they restore good health? In this course, we explore how communities have confronted disease throughout Africa’s history. During the first six weeks, we read about the changing role of specialist healers since the 1700s, including shamans, malams, nurses, and drug peddlers. The second half of the course turns to the history of specific diseases including malaria, AIDS, and Ebola through regional case studies. Particular emphasis is placed on pre-colonial and traditional healing, medical education, colonial therapeutics, and the impact of environmental change. Throughout the course of the semester, participants will be able to hone their historical research skills through primary source labs. The research labs will incorporate analysis of historical documents and artifacts related to particular aspects of therapeutics and sickness in Africa. Overall, this course offers participants a nuanced, historical perspective on the current health crisis in Africa. Staggering figures place the burden of global disease in Africa; not only AIDS and malaria, but also pneumonia, diarrhea and mental illness significantly affect the lives of everyday people. Studying the history of illness and healing in African societies provides a framework with which to interpret the social, political, and environmental factors shaping international health today.
HIS 364G HIST FOOD HEAL CHINA TAIWAN
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In Chinese history, food and healing shared the same set of cosmological assumptions, all of which had to do with harmonizing the “vital energy,” “breath” or “life force” (qi ?) of the body with the mind. The Chinese holistic approach to the concept of “well-being” by eating, taking medicine and engaging in healing arts, was to ensure that all of these activities created a healthy balance. Lectures, discussion and coursework will focus on the cultural, historical, philosophical, social, and scientific background against which the connection between food and healing has evolved through history. The course will address how this holistic approach has manifested in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan today, and form the basis of final research inquiry projects, some of which may also be applied to greater Austin and Houston locales. Introduction – What is the connection of food and healing in Chinese history? Section I – Concepts of well-being, the mind and body, “health and healing” Section II – History of food, connection between food and healing, food as medicine Section III – Healing Practices in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan
HIS 366N Global History of Disease
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This course introduces major themes in the history of medicine through the lens of disease. It focuses on two questions: How have people defined well-being? How have they responded to illness? The course considers major diseases to understand their multiple meanings across time and space including: plague, cholera, influenza, sleeping sickness, PTSD, AIDS and malaria. Themes to be considered include changing theories of disease causality, the development of international public health policy, social understandings of the body, and the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. The course emphasizes the roles governments, medical practitioners, and patients play in the social construction of disease and health. Case studies from India, Brazil, South Africa and the United States will be analyzed through readings, lectures and films.
N 371 DISABILITY OVER LIFE COURSE
Disability over the Life Course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of disability as a distinct social and clinical concept with practical and theoretical implications for health care. This course will focus on the changing needs of persons with disabilities over the life course. Students will learn how to understand the health needs of persons with disabilities and how to work with them and their families so they may negotiate environments with appropriate accommodations that meet their health care needs.
NTR 331 Intl Ntr: Socl/Envir Policies
Identifying, reading, analyzing, writing, and presenting scientific research on selected topics in nutrition and human health (Focus: Nutrition-related diseases).
PSY 341K 4-HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the interrelationship between physical health and illness on the one hand and our cognitions, emotions, and behaviors on the other. The course examines the role of psychological factors in the emergence and progress of physical illness, the role of physical illness in psychological adjustment, and the role of behavioral factors in maintaining and enhancing physical health. Key topics include: (a) the nature of health psychology and the central role of life stressors; (b) coping with chronic illness; (c) the patient, the patient's family, and the health care system; and (d) disease prevention and health promotion. Discussion will encompass conceptual, methodological, and applied issues in the field. Conceptual issues will include the nature of life stressors, biological pathways through which life stressors relate to physical illness, and stress moderators. Learning to write well is also a key goal of the course. In completing the writing assignments, I will provide you with constructive feedback to help you become a better writer. In addition, you will have opportunities to discuss and comment on other students' work in class.
PSY 364 INTRO TO CLINICAL PSYCH-WB
In this survey course on the science and practice of Clinical Psychology, we review major theories and conceptual models of helping, introduce fundamental clinical skills and attitudes, and discuss clinical ethics and decision-making. We cover a variety of topics related to clinical psychology, including career development in the helping professions, empirically supported treatments and the importance of research, professional issues in clinical practice, how to be a conscious consumer of mental health services, and mechanisms of therapeutic change. Throughout the course, we apply psychological theories and principles to everyday human experience. We hope to make the science of Clinical Psychology accessible and understandable, and we particularly want you to see how the theories and concepts we discuss relate to your own life. This Online Course is comprised of a series of Modules containing lectures for you to watch and listen to, as well as supporting materials like lecture slides, required and supplemental readings, videos, and related websites to explore. Instead of a traditional textbook, you will read and view assigned materials online for each class, including articles, TED talks, and a variety of multimedia materials. We recommend listening to the lecture for each module first, then completing the associated readings, viewings, and explorations. In fact, recent research finds that students learn far more efficiently if they read the reading material after the lecture than if they do so before the lecture. There are no in-person requirements for the course. Class attendance and participation, assignments, and tests are all completed online. The instructional team holds in-person office hours, as in any traditional class; you are not required to attend these, but any student is welcome to come ask questions or just say hello.
RHE 309J When Topic is Appropriate
For topics courses labeled as “When Topic is Appropriate” on a BDP curriculum sheet, please note that all topics for this course number are not automatically approved to count toward your BDP. In advance of registration for a particular semester (and as part of the BDP seat request process), the BDP office will inform current BDP students of the topics for the course number that are approved for their BDP.
S W 360K DEATH DYNG PRACTNER RESILNCE
Practitioners face palliative and end-of-life decisions with patients who are dying but are often ill- equipped to cope with the intensity of the feelings and conversations around these decisions. This course will help students to reframe these challenging interactions as opportunities to form meaningful connections with patients, families and caregivers, and to understand the significance of self-care, self-compassion, and the cultivation of resilience in the face of difficult situations. The course will concentrate on cultural, historical and theoretical components of death, dying and resilience in healthcare; communicative, psychological, and sociological approaches to terminally- ill patient communication and care; and methods of achieving wellness and resilience in the face of adversity.
S W 360K MAKING SYS WORK PEOPLE DIS-WB
Explore an overview of disability policy. Examine the history of the disability rights movement, relevant federal and state legislation, legal and ethical issues, services and supports through federal and state programs, the political economy of disability, and disability culture, advocacy, and leadership issues.
SOC 312S SOCIETY, HEALTH & HAPPINESS
In this course, we will examine the interplay between society, health, and happiness, drawing upon findings from a variety of fields, including psychology, sociology, neuroscience, and economics. Topics include the nature and measurement of happiness, the relationship between health and happiness, the social or collective dimensions of health and happiness, and the relationship between money and individual well- being. Throughout the course, we will critically examine the new “Science of Happiness” and the increasing emphasis on happiness and positivity in American culture. Students will also engage with practical lessons from the scientific study of happiness and human flourishing by applying insights from research to their own lives. COURSE OBJECTIVES By the end of the course, students will be prepared to answer the following questions: What are different ways in which happiness is understood, defined, measured, and studied? What does research tell us about the relationships between health, happiness, and money? What are the relationships between health, happiness, and social connectedness? What accounts for the recent emphasis on promoting happiness in many western societies? To what extent can health and happiness be facilitated by society?
SOC 322F Mental Hlth in Social Context
This course is an overview of mental health and illness in social contexts. We will focus on the social antecedents and consequences of mental illness and the extent to which mental disorder is socially constructed. We will combine sociological, psychological, epidemiological, and biological approaches to better understand how the social aspects of mental health and illness interact with individual processes. We’ll also emphasize the diversity of mental health and illness by gender, race/ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, marital and parental statuses, and age. The objective of this course is for you to become familiar with micro-macro processes through which mental health and illness are affected by society and in turn affect social functioning of individuals. At the end of this course you will be able (1) to critically apply a sociological perspective to mental illness as a social phenomenon that transcends the individual level and (2) to understand the social etiology of and social inequality in mental health.
SOC 354K Sociology of Health & Illness
This course provides an introduction to central topics in the sociology of health and illness. The material covered in this course will encompass individual, institutional and theoretical approaches to health & illness.  The course is designed to provide a critical framework for exploring how social, political, economic and cultural forces shape the understanding and experience of health and illness.  We will explore the following themes: 1) the social production and distribution of disease and illness; 2) the meaning and experience of illness; 3) the social organization of medical care; 4) health politics and health systems.
SPN 367C SPANISH HLTH CARE PROFESSNS
This course is designed to build fluency in both spoken and written language that will enable the health care professional to use Spanish effectively. Students will acquire over 600 medical terms, applying them in diverse, interactive classroom activities and in three research-based projects. An online medical terminology program serves as a textbook. To achieve optimal results, consistent attendance and active participation is required. Prerequisite: Intermediate-high proficiency in oral and written Spanish. COURSE OUTCOMES: The Spanish for Health Care Professionals language learner will: § Increase Spanish proficiency in interpretive, interpersonal and presentational communication modes. § Explain medical procedures and consultations to monolingual Hispanic patients successfully. § Identify Hispanic cultural perspectives, practices and products on health and well-being. § Collaborate as they: -- Compare and contrast health and well-being issues in their own culture with others. -- Problem solve hypothetical health-related issues. -- Create and innovate as they synthesize new learning. -- Utilize 20th Century skills in the areas of information, media and technology. -- Access and utilize authentic material and technology to support and acquire information. -- Recognize diverse individual, community and global health and environmental issues.
T C 330 HEALTHCARE 21ST CEN PRACTICUM
This course is the first half of a six credit hour two semester service-learning TC 330 program (Burden of Disease, Health Care and Social Care in the United States: 18th Century to the 21st Century). The goal of the program is to introduce students to the history of diseases as they relate to the development of the US health care sector (fall) and place students as interns in various social service organizations across Austin (spring). Time commitment during the spring course is approximately 10-15 hours per week of seminar time and internship work. These unpaid positions provide hands-on experience and the opportunity to learn more about the vital role social service providers play in chronic disease management and the relationship to the health care sector. Interns will be placed in pairs or triads to enhance service-learning experiences and insights.
T C 358 SCI & POL ANTIBIOTIC RESIST
This course will explore both the science and policy related to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance can be defined as the ability of bacteria to grow in the presence of an antibiotic, and it is estimated to cost U.S. households over $35 billion dollars each year. Infections with antibiotic-resistant organisms can significantly increase both the length of hospital stays (by 5-13 d) and mortality rates (causing >20,000 deaths/y in the U.S.), thereby attaching a tremendous societal cost to antibiotic resistance. At the same time that antibiotic resistance is increasing, the development of new antibiotics is declining, which limits treatment options for bacterial infections. The course will include microbiological topics (e.g., types of microorganisms, role of antibiotics and mechanisms of action, history of development of antibiotic resistance, and adaptive and mutative antibiotic resistance) and policy topics (e.g., stakeholders in the antibiotic resistance space, controlling unnecessary antibiotic usage, antibiotic use in industry, approaches for societal engagement utilizing the one-health approach of the World Health Organization [WHO], and the global policy dialogue on controlling the spread of antibiotic resistance). Through this course, each student will be able to (i) understand basic scientific concepts related to antibiotic resistance, (ii) understand the principles of the new antibiotic design paradigm, (iii) identify the policy stakeholders and current challenges in controlling the spread of antibiotic resistance, and (iv) demonstrate critical thinking abilities by synthesizing scientific and policy information. These outcomes will be achieved by traditional lectures, interactive discussions (some student-led), a stakeholder panel discussion (including experts from UT-Austin’s Dell Medical School, the Schools of Pharmacy, Public Health, and Public Policy, and the Cockrell School of Engineering), hands-on laboratory sessions (two-week lab module) and group laboratory report, one individual research paper, and a podcast group project. (5-min podcast addressing a challenge in the antibiotic resistance space).
T D 351T ART AND THE EPIDEMIC
Art & The Epidemic will examine artistic responses to the AIDS crisis in the United States across a variety of art forms (theatre, visual art, literature, etc) and explore contemporary artistic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The course will delve into social and historical contexts for AIDS and COVID-19 and will look at both epidemics in the context of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. Students from all majors/fields of study are welcome. Open to upper-level undergrads and graduate students. No instructor consent needed
Ethics & Justice of Health & Health Care
AHC 330 GREAT WORKS IN MEDICINE
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"In keeping with spirit of Mortimer Adler’s Great Books of the Western World and Charles William Eliot’s Harvard Universal Classics, this course will thematically examine signature works in the history of medicine. This course meets the requirements of the Ethics Flag by directing the readings toward the issues and ethical dilemmas germane to medicine. To better understand the unique implications of the different areas of medicine, each week will entail reading a signature work that is representative of a key topic in the history of medicine (e.g. pharmacology, pathology, anatomy, surgery). After performing an analytical reading of a signature work in medicine, students will focus on discovering ethical principles in the text that have modern applications. This is an upper division course that also carries a Writing Flag. The writing assignments will consist of one long and one short research paper, graded online/class discussions, and peer review activities. The course is part of the Certificate Program in Core Texts and Ideas. Major Texts to be Studied: 'Hippocratic Oath'; Andreas Vesalius, 'On the Fabric of the Human Body'; Galen, 'On the Natural Faculties'; Rudolf Virchow, 'Cellular Pathology'; Dioscorides, 'Medical Material'; Soranus, 'On Gynecology'; Joseph Lister, 'On Antiseptic Principles'; Edward Jenner, 'An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccine'; William Harvey, 'On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals'; Benjamin Spock, 'Baby and Child Care'; Florence Nightingale, 'Notes on Nursing for the Laboring Classes'; 'Cassandra'; William James, 'The Principles of Psychology'; R. T. H. Laennec, 'A Treatise on the Diseases of the Chest and on Mediate Auscultation'"
BDP 329 RACE AND MEDICINE IN AMERICAN LIFE
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This course examines the relationship between African Americans and the American medical profession from the era of plantation slavery to the present day. The course divides the history of this relationship into several periods: the era of plantation medicine during the antebellum period; the formation and propagation of ideas about African American health following Emancipation; the practice of segregated medicine up until the 1960’s; interactions between black and white physicians and the American Medical Association prior to and during the Civil Rights era; and the period from the 1960’s to the present. The course examines the persistence of medical racism in American medicine up to the present day.
ECO 325K Health Economics
Examines the role and justification for government involvement in the medical care system. Subjects include the special features of medical care as a commodity, the demand for health and medical services, the economic explanations for the behavior of medical care providers, the functioning of insurance markets, federal health insurance programs, and regulation.
GOV 335I POLITICAL BIOETHICS
The still relatively new field of bioethics has developed two major, complementary branches: moral analysis and clinical application. Our course proposes a third branch that extends the first two with the argument that bioethics is a fundamentally political phenomenon, where the term politics refers to the contestation of different value-commitments and political “success” involves coping well with abiding disagreement. Bioethics thus involves decisions that cannot be “correct” —— but can be procedurally legitimate. Think of it this way: questions that can have correct answers (even in morally pluralist societies) may not require discussion in the public sphere; rule-following suffices. For example: “Would the subjection of humans to research techniques such as vivisection be ethical?” Such questions are not political. By contrast, questions that can only be answered in terms of the particular value-commitments of the deciders are political in that answers ideally would be generated through critical discussions —— not only among experts but among members of the general public. For example: “It is permissible to genetically modify humans to enhance normal capabilities?” By experts I mean scientists (who can answer technical questions such as: Is genome editing possible with precision sufficient to create genetically modified babies? I also mean physicians (who can determine if any medical needs are so compelling as to outweigh the risks). But neither type of expert can address the kinds of questions that a political community (no matter how diverse or fragmented) ideally would contribute to, questions such as: Who has the right to decide? Might routine genome editing alter human societies? Are there dangers of exacerbating already existing social inequalities (the better-off would have greater access), or of economic forces (from “genetic marketplaces” to “genetic fashions”)? This specifically political bioethics proposes that bioethics should aspire to become a democratic project that involves ordinary citizens as far as reasonably possible. We read nine authors, in each case focusing on three issues: (i) the fundamental tension between the twin commitments to truth and justice; (ii) the limits of biotechnology’s potential to contribute to social justice; and (iii) the question: How can we determine guidelines, acceptable to many members of any given community, as to when the subjective preferences of parents and others should be honored, and when they should not, and for what reasons?
GOV 335M Political Bioethics
GOV 355M GOVT RESPONSES TO COVID-19-WB
This course is a collaboration between UT and Sciences Po Lyon. It will be open to 25 UT students and 25 Sciences Po Lyon students. Group work and interactions between French and American students will be mandatory. All instructions will be done via Zoom and in English, though fluency in other languages maybe helpful (but not at all required). The objective of this course is to give students a thorough understanding of COVID-19 through a public policy lens. How have different governments at various levels reacted to the global pandemic? What are the public health and economic consequences? How has the political discourse shaped public policy on the issue? How has the public policy affected the spread of the virus? How has the vaccine development and rollout gone? We will provide a framework for perspectives and answers that extend beyond the personal or even local, to consider the virus and the public policies that attempted to contain it in a more global way. While nothing like COVID19 has happened in at least the last 100 years, the disciplines of political science and public policy have provided us with a framework to understand the corona virus situation a bit more than the popular media suggests. With this orientation, we will provide a front-row seat to all participants on how the framework and findings from these disciplines change as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic caused by this virus provides the academy with an incredible opportunity to evaluate government actions even as the consequences continue to unfold. While the COVID-19 crisis has ramifications in lots of disciplines, this course will focus on how the governments – at various levels and around the globe – responded to the pandemic. While our focus will be on the responses of the United States and France, we will place both of these countries in a broader perspective in order to evaluate the decisions made by their national and regional governments. What has become clear since the origins of the virus at the end of 2019 is that it does not abide by national boundaries, though governments around the globe quickly retreated to national policies in hopes of retarding its spread, alleviating its devastating consequences, and vaccinating citizens. Students in Texas and Lyon will be challenged to reflect upon the personal consequences of the virus’s spread while being provided with a framework for understanding how governments responded and the effect of those responses.
GOV 370V The Politics of Health Care
Health care is currently one of the most hotly debated topics in American politics. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the issues and controversies that surround healthcare policy and the American healthcare system. The course will facilitate this by first establishing a theoretical and substantive framework regarding various aspects of policymaking and the American healthcare system. Upon the establishment of this framework, the course will then delve into the examination of a number of specific health problems and the controversies surrounding them. Students should leave this class with a working knowledge of the American policy making process, substantial knowledge of the American healthcare system and an understanding of the roots of current debates in American healthcare policy.
GRG 322D Human Health & the Environment
Each year, hundreds of chemicals are found in Americans of all ages, including lead, mercury, dioxins and PCBs. Studies have detected antibacterial agents from liquid soaps in infants' cord blood, breast milk, and children’s urine. PBDEs, or flame retardants, which can have negative impacts on learning and memory, show up in fabrics, upholstery, mattresses, and electronics, and leach out into household air and dust. News magazines call autism an ‘epidemic.’ Pollution is an affliction of the industrial age, and remains one of the most vexing unintended consequences of economic growth. This course discusses these contemporary, and often controversial, issues in environmental health, focusing on how today's environmental issues directly affect our health. Of particular interest in environmental morbidity is the unequal distribution of exposures among people of different socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. Poor people are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards, in the home, in school and workplace, and outdoors. Toxic environmental exposures typically cannot be easily controlled individually, and therefore are heavily determined by our larger community and political decisions. Accordingly, this course focuses on the decision-making process and the larger concept of environmental ethics. Because toxic exposures from manufactured chemicals could potentially be avoided by not using the chemicals in the first place, many ethical questions, dilemmas, and controversies arise in this course. For example, fossil fuels and human health – how should the short-term gains of using fossil fuels be weighed against the longer-term health consequences of respiratory and cardiopulmonary disease? Or obesity, under-nutrition, and starvation - the simultaneous existence of these conditions, particularly in one country, reveals a problem in environmental justice. Accordingly, we examine the relationship between humans and nature, and discuss the concepts of sustainability and resilience, and global health.
GRG 325E THE HEALTHY, LIVABLE CITY
Issues concerning the built environment and urban infrastructure, environmental sustainability, and the public policy framework designed to manage the challenges presented by these issues.
GSD 360 GLBLIZATN CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
“Globalization and the Coronavirus Pandemic” presents a fundamental description of the modern globalization process that also incorporates a description of the current Coronavirus pandemic as a phenomenon that is inextricably linked with modern globalization. The globalization process consists of a vast network of man-made systems that produce innumerable kinds of interconnectivity. Some of these systems, such as global airlines and ocean-going ships, carry microorganisms between continents. Other systems, such as international organizations and various forms of governance, can be profoundly affected by the medical calamities that result from the spread of a microorganism like the coronavirus. Global communications technologies function as a megaphone that amplifies the emotional and political effects of the spreading pandemic. Indeed, it has become clear that coronavirus effects have already begun to reverse certain major aspects of the globalization process that have included international cooperation arrangements and the advancement of liberal and democratic values and procedures. The spread of the coronavirus also poses a mortal threat to the mini-global arrangement known as the European Union. In summary, the coronavirus pandemic is a world-changing event that is best understood as a complex infection of the globalization process itself.
H S 330 HEALTH CARE POLICY IN U.S.
This is a new course that covers the essentials of health policy in the United States and compares the health care financing and delivery system in this country to those of other developed nations. Students will learn the history of health-related legislation in the United States and investigate why this nation, unlike others, developed an employment-based health care financing system based on an insurance model rather than a publicly funded universal system. Students will investigate the major political forces that have determined the structure of the health care system in the U.S. and examine issues related to differential access for minority Americans and those in marginal jobs that do not offer insurance coverage.
H S 331C COVID19 SOCL IMPACT PUBL DILEM
Explore the COVID-19 pandemic through multiple social, cultural, and economic lenses. Consider how globalization has influenced transportation networks and economic relationships that shape infectious disease transmission in the twenty-first century. Examine the effectiveness of different public health efforts to curb the spread of this virus. Discuss how the public health efforts of different nations and international governing bodies reveal different cultural values, political realities, and healthcare systems.
H S 340 COVID SOCL IMPACT PUB DILEM-WB
Welcome to HS 340! The primary objective of this course is to offer students a broad overview of how the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped and is shaped by our social lives. We will explore the pandemic through multiple social, cultural, and economic lenses. We will begin by learning how globalization has influenced transportation 2 networks and economic relationships that shape infectious disease transmission in the 21st century and consider the effectiveness of different public health efforts to curb the spread of this virus. How do the public health efforts of different nations and international governing bodies reveal different cultural values, political realities, and healthcare systems? Domestically, we will evaluate the American healthcare system, considering how a patchwork of players—the CDC and other public health agencies, hospital networks, professional organizations, insurance companies, private health industries, government programs like Medicaid and Medicare, and individual emergency medical and other healthcare personnel—all worked to shape our individual and collective responses to the pandemic. We will examine ever-changing public health messaging, public health recommendations, and consider the factors that led to a lack of sufficient PPE and equipment at the outset of the pandemic. Adopting a social epidemiological perspective, we will also explore how existing social vulnerabilities shape one’s exposure to the virus, the severity of complications from pre-existing conditions, and long-term health outcomes from the virus. We will learn why low-income and racial/ethnic minority groups are more likely to test positive for COVID-19, and also why they are more likely than white and affluent populations to suffer serious complications and die from the disease. An investigation of the social determinants of health will help us understand these disparate outcomes. We will also consider the economic systems that led to the pandemic, but also the economic effects that have emerged since COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how political factors have shaped public health messaging, healthcare delivery, and individual behaviors throughout the pandemic. The pandemic brought widespread economic change as it shifted global markets and corporate forecasts at the macro level, but it also increased the ranks of the unemployed and those living in poverty, highlighting how some populations were especially socioeconomically vulnerable in the American economy. Politically, we will delve into perceptions of individual liberty and collective responsibility, considering how economic privilege and long-standing political divisions shaped our responses to lockdown orders, stay-at-home recommendations and requests to follow other precautionary measures such as social distancing and wearing facemasks. How did our political leaders—our president, state governors, members of Congress and local elected officials—capitalize on long-standing political 3 divisions and racial bias to influence our individual and collective responses to the pandemic? Throughout the semester we will also explore myriad unintended health consequences and new social revelations brought to light by the pandemic. COVID19 amplified collective anxieties, revealing barriers to mental health care, the importance of under-developed telemedicine, and the lack of social safety nets in the U.S. Most saliently, the pandemic also served as the backdrop for a national movement demanding justice for Black people and communities of color more generally. “Racism as a public health crisis“ became a rallying cry as diverse protesters ignored social distancing recommendations to tackle a health problem arguably far more menacing than COVID-19. We will conclude by analyzing how vaccines have been developed and distributed, and how the COVID-19 pandemic is managed by the new presidential administration. While our exploration will be centered on the U.S. experience, we will also spend several class sessions decentering the COVID-19 narrative and considering the pandemic in other nations around the world.
H S 341 HEALTH AND JUSTICE-WB
Mass disparities exist in the health of humans across the globe. It may seem obvious from a moral point of view that if we can do something to alleviate the global and local disparities in health and access to healthcare, that we should do something about it. Once we scratch the surface of this apparent truism, however, we find a number of assumptions in need of defense. What would ground such an obligation after all? Do humans have a right to health? If so, do they also have a right to healthcare? It may seem that these two concepts are intertwined, but consider an analogy. Someone’s right to life makes it impermissible to kill that person (unless you would be justified in doing so, say in a case of genuine self-defense). Nevertheless, the right to life plausibly does not entail that you are obligated to protect or preserve the life of everyone who has such a right. Similarly, if humans have a right to health, then it would be impermissible to undermine their health. But it is a different question whether individuals are obligated to protect and preserve the health of others by, for example, ensuring their access to healthcare. The course will evaluate different frameworks for characterizing health-related injustices given the challenges to rights-based approaches.
H S 341C COMPARATIVE US HEALTH SYSTEMS
This course will examine health care issues facing the United States though a comparative approach. The course will emphasize how underlying social values shape both the health of a population and its approach to health care. Significant time will also be spent analyzing different models of health care systems worldwide and what the advantages and disadvantages of these models are for different segments of society compared to the US model. We will pay close attention to Scandinavian/Nordic models of health care distribution, along with the systems of other more developed countries, as well as less developed countries, and small country innovations.
HED 365 Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to 1) the social determinants of health, 2) health disparities, and 3) strategies to address the social determinants of health and reduce health disparities. Course Objectives: At the completion of this course, students will be able to: 1. Identify primary social determinants of health. 2. Reflect upon the social determinants of health in our society and how you will confront them in your career in health promotion. 3. Discuss the ways in which social determinants of health lead to differential health outcomes. 4. Define health disparities. 5. Discuss the extent and types of health disparities occurring in the US today. 6. Identify groups who experience differential health outcomes. 7. Identify and discuss strategies for altering the social determinants of health and reducing health disparities.
HIS 322G History of the Modern Life Sciences
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The History of the Modern Life Sciences traces the study of living things from the seventeenth century to the present. We will examine how naturalists and biologists have searched for order in nature––from cabinets of curiosity to maps of biodiversity, and from the theory of cells to the structure of DNA. In this course, students will examine the development of changing practices and approaches to investigating life in the field, the museum, and the laboratory. Students will confront critical problems in the history of biology and society, including those related to exploration and empire; race, gender, and classification; theories of evolution; genetics and eugenics; ecology and conservation; molecular biology; and biotechnology. How has the meaning of “life” changed through history? How have ideas about social order and natural order mirrored each other? To explore these questions, we will analyze historians’ interpretations, historical actors’ own accounts of their work and ideas, as well as historical images and objects.
HIS 322S HIST OF GENETICS EUGENICS
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This course will explore the diverse variety of genetic and eugenic practices that began to emerge early in the 20th century and which remain, in contemporary reprogenetic practice, of vital importance today. While the most famous examples of eugenic policy remain those implemented in Nazi Germany and the infamous sterilization laws in the US and elsewhere during the inter-war years, in reality eugenic science influenced research, law, and social policy on every continent throughout the 20th century. Its legacy is often to be seen in today’s genetic research. The course will trace the radical changes in the field of genetics since the early the 20th century and consider the debate over the relationship between eugenics and modern genetics. The course will range across a wide geographical area, looking at eugenic and genetic practice in Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well as Europe and North America.
HIS 350L Race, Science, And Racism
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This course explores important episodes in the history of biology regarding the classification of human races. For ages, human groups have endured conflicts with one another over racial differences and prejudices. However, according to many biologists and scientists, human races do not even exist. We will discuss how bodily traits such as skin tones have affected how scientists and societies have struggled to understand human differences. We will analyze racism in several contexts, such as the Spanish Inquisition, the history of slavery in the U.S., the history of eugenics, the Civil Rights era, etc. We will discuss how classifications of races have changed over time in the works scientists such as Georges Buffon, Ben Franklin, Johann Blumenbach, Charles Darwin, and others. We will analyze claims from popular books in light of primary historical sources. We will also trace the evolution of categories such as “Black,” “White,” “Asian,” “Hispanic,” etc. We will discuss why such categories have varied in different places. We will especially analyze how racial categories have changed over time in government and institutions, such as the U.S. Census, and Texas public schools and universities.
KIN 347 Hist/Eth Issues in Physical Culture and Sport
Designed for applied movement science, health education, and kinesiology majors. Explores the history of sport industry and sport science and how laboratory revelations lead to new fitness regimens. Covers ethical issues in the field of physical culture and sport, such as the use of ergogenic drugs, the social consequences of high performance sport, and professional ethics in the fields of kinesiology and health education. Two lecture hours and one discussion section hour a week for one semester.
LAH 350 SOC INEQ & HEALTH IN U.S.
This course examines patterns of health and illness in the US and their possible causes. By focusing on societal structures and demographic trends, the course is able to uncover the ways in which American society and social interactions shape health outcomes across the adult population. Some attention in the course is also devoted to the healthcare system in the US and the ways in which it leads to certain population health outcomes. The course is designed with experiential learning in mind, thus it requires students to undertake projects that help them better understand how health outcomes are patterned in the community around UT Austin.
LAH 350 LITERATURE HEALTH DISEASE-WB
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Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing. Description: In this seminar, we will read contemporary texts in multiple genres (novels, memoirs, literary journalism, short stories, essays, poems, films) by multiethnic writers concerned with the idea of health. Questions we will explore together include the following: What does contemporary literature about health and well-being teach us about our broader society? Can literature be an effective tool for combatting health inequities? Can literature help us understand or change health policy? In addition to exploring the topic at hand, our work together will also be guided by the following two goals: 1) interrogating the presumed division between literature and the society that produces it (or, more precisely, addressing why literature matters in the so-called “real world”), and 2) developing persuasive writing skills. Texts may include the following: Eula Biss, On Immunity; Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, The Undocumented Americans; Esmé Weijun Wang, The Collected Schizophrenias; Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones; ire’ne lara silva, Blood Sugar Canto. Requirements & Grading: Periodic Self Evaluations: 5%; Short Papers (2 @ 15% each): 30%; Participation: 30%; Preparation for Final Paper (proposal, rough draft, peer review, etc.): 20%; Final Paper: 15%
MAS 319 LATINX HEALTH DISEASE STUDS
This course introduces students to research methods for identifying and understanding health patterns in Latinx populations. Students will be introduced to basic epidemiological principles, theory, methods, uses, and body of knowledge of epidemiology in order to understand leading causes of disease and health in Latinx populations. Literature in public health research that have over-represented Latinx samples will be discussed. Emphasis is placed on the social determinants of health and disease in Latinx populations, and on the contribution of epidemiology to health policy impacting Latinx health.
MAS 337F LATINA FEMINISM AND HEALTH
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This course is designed with two objectives in mind. First, it is intended to foster student expertise in the core texts and theories of Latina feminism; and second, it is intended to deepen students’ analytic and research skills by examining how Latina feminism provides new insight into one specific, urgent social concern: health justice. As a result, the course begins with an overview of Latina feminist theory (with a focus on issues of health), and continues with an analysis of Latina expressive culture (film, music, visual art, and literature) that is concerned with themes of health justice. Topics addressed throughout the semester are likely to include many of the following: mental health, diabetes, sexuality, intimate partner violence, body love and fat activism, reproductive justice, environmental justice, safety at work, and transgender health. At the beginning of the semester, students will select a health-related topic for independent research, and assignments throughout the semester will be geared toward the creation of a final research project focused on that topic.
N 309 Global Health
This course provides students with an overview of global health. Particular emphasis is given to the determinants of health, health indicators, human rights, globalization, current socio-cultural factors, healthcare and public health systems. Course Objectives: During the course, students will: 1. Define key public health concepts related to global health including epidemiology, measures of health status, determinants of health, burden of disease, health promotion, and social justice. 2. Describe how globalization impacts changing patterns in health and disease. 3. Analyze how determinants of health, approaches to disease prevention and health promotion, and social, cultural, economic, and human rights factors influence the health of world populations. 4. Compare the impact of health disparities in various regions of the world. 5. Assess how research and technology contribute to improving global health. 6. Describe how the environment and disasters (natural and man-made) affect global health. 7. Describe key organizations’ and institutions’ roles in global health. 8. Examine interventions designed to improve global health.
N 321 Ethics of Health Care
This course focuses on ethical issues in health care. Contradictions, inconsistencies, and competing views that lead to dilemmas in health care will be examined. Particular emphasis is given to the resolution of ethical dilemmas through ethical reasoning, ethical obligations in health professional-patient relationships, and just allocation of scarce health care resources. Required for nursing majors. This course has a substantial writing component. Course Objectives: At the conclusion of this course the learner should be able to: 1. Examine the complex socio-political, multi-cultural, economic, and technological factors which have helped create contemporary health care dilemmas. 2. Analyze the underlying premises and rationales of major comparative ethical theories. 3. Explore the resolution of selected ethical dilemmas through the use of models of ethical reasoning and decision making. 4. Analyze the interrelationship between ethics and law and the impact of judicial decisions upon health care practices and policies. 5. Trace the historical evolution of the concept of professional ethics in health care. 6. Analyze the ethical obligations and duties of health professionals which emanate from the nature of the caregiver-patient relationship. 7. Apply principles of ethical reasoning to the process of resolving ethical dilemmas. 8. Select and integrate appropriate research findings in the study of ethical issues related to health care.
PHL 325E BIOMEDICAL ETHICS
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Apply ethics to problems of medical practice and theory including abortion, euthanasia, sterilization, psychosurgery, genetic engineering, and concepts of health, cure, insanity, and death.
PHL 325J Health and Justice
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Mass disparities exist in the health of humans across the globe. It may seem obvious from a moral point of view that if we can do something to alleviate the global and local disparities in health and access to healthcare, that we should do something about it. Once we scratch the surface of this apparent truism, however, we find a number of assumptions in need of defense. What would ground such an obligation after all? Do humans have a right to health? If so, do they also have a right to healthcare? It may seem that these two concepts are intertwined, but consider an analogy. Someone’s right to life makes it impermissible to kill that person (unless you would be justified in doing so, say in a case of genuine self-defense). Nevertheless, the right to life plausibly does not entail that you are obligated to protect or preserve the life of everyone who has such a right. Similarly, if humans have a right to health, then it would be impermissible to undermine their health. But it is a different question whether individuals are obligated to protect and preserve the health of others by, for example, ensuring their access to healthcare. The course will evaluate different frameworks for characterizing health-related injustices given the challenges to rights-based approaches.
PHL 325M Medicine, Ethics, and Society
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This course is an introduction to the philosophy of medicine with a focus on social policy and ethical issues. Topics covered include: conceptual and normative foundations of medicine; ethical implications of recent scientific results such as genomics and human embryology; medical explications of race and their implications for health; prospects and problems with human genetic modification and the possibility of eugenics; issues of equity and justice in public health including genetic screening and testing, compulsory vaccination, diseases of poverty, and neglected tropical diseases. Throughout, the emphasis will be on social context and normative analysis. The course will cover the following seven topics in sequence: • Concepts of health and disease. • Genetics, genomics, and medicine. • Ethics and human embryology. • Race and medicine. • Problems of public health. • Vaccination policy and practice. • Gene cloning, editing, and eugenics. The scope of this course is broader than that of traditional courses in biomedical ethics. It includes discussions of topics in medical epistemology (including aspects of the philosophy of biology) and the social and political contexts of medical practice.
S W 360K WOMEN'S HEALTH POLICY
This course critically examines the policies and programs that affect women’s health in the United States, with a focus on reproductive health. The goal of this course is to provide students with more specialized knowledge of how polices impact the lives of women. In the course, students will explore how assumptions about gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, immigrant status, and socioeconomic status influence and are incorporated into public policy. Students also will learn to evaluate how policies may address - or contribute to - disparities in women’s health.
SOC 308S Intro to Health and Society
The principle objective of H S 301/SOC 308S is to offer students a broad overview of health and society from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. We will examine how social forces influence health and disease in U.S. society, including cultural, economic, and demographic considerations. We will explore why rates of disease vary among different populations and how cultural and structural inequalities shape access to healthcare and affect morbidity and mortality. How do economic factors, politics, public perceptions of morality, and historical biases against specific populations shape our modern-day understandings and experiences of health and illness? We will also examine how social forces shape the very definitions of health, illness, and disease categories, and thereby medical diagnoses and treatments. We will consider the social consequences of the commodification of healthcare and how new technologies are transforming our current healthcare system and the nature of the patient/physician relationship. Our course readings and discussions will help us address current bioethical controversies that continue to influence our beliefs about health and illness and shape our very understandings about human rights and personhood. This course is built around lectures (including guest lectures), class discussion, and film screenings and discussion.
SOC 321G Global Health Issues and Systems
This course provides an overview of global health challenges in the world today. It is essential to understand the links between health and education, poverty, equity, and development with an appreciation of the values, beliefs, and cultures of diverse groups. The first half of the course will review critical global health issues from biological, cultural and environmental perspectives. The second half of the course will review various health systems in the six World Health Organization geographic regions and will compare and contrast the various regions, as well as countries within regions, with regard to the specific health challenges they face.
SOC 322J Economic Sociology of Hlth
This course provides a look at the economics of health and health care through a sociological lens. In neoclassical economics, rational behavior and market transactions provide an efficient allocation of goods and services. From a sociological perspective, markets are social institutions that are shaped by the cultural, political, and historical environments in which they operate.   This course will examine how the multidimensional nature and distribution of health and health care are shaped by a variety of social and economic factors. Throughout the course, students will gain an understanding of the power of incentives, markets, and cost-benefit analysis, as well as the limits of these tools, in creating effective health care policy.     The first part of the course will examine how social environment shapes health and health behaviors and how health disparities are viewed from sociological and economic standpoints. The second part of the course will focus on the institutions that regulate access to health care and the historical developments that led to these arrangements.   Topics include:   - Gender, race, and class differences in health - The creation and reproduction of health disparities - Health behavior and externalities - The demand and supply of health care - Moral hazard, adverse selection, and health care insurance - Health insurance and the labor market - Problems of uninsurance - History of health care reform - Comparative health policies.
SOC 335R REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE & RACE
Access to reproductive care is the most significant indicator of social inequality. The rights to have children, or not, and parent are deeply stratified across societies. And childhood inequalities have persistent, life-long health effects. In this course we will examine reproductive outcomes for women in order to study social justice. Reproductive justice is defined “as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” Building from Loretta Ross, SisterSong, and National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, our working definition of reproduction justice for this course encompasses diverse families’ rights to reproduction, processes of becoming pregnant and giving birth, the right to give birth to a child with disabilities, the right to prenatal care and child care. Taking our cue from reproductive justice activists and scholars, we will consider the complete physical and mental well-being of women (broadly defined), children, and their families which can potentially be achieved when they have the economic, social and political power, and resources to make healthy decisions about their sexuality, and reproduction. Reproductive justice is almost always out of reach because resources are unevenly distributed, based on race, gender, sexuality, abilities/ disabilities, citizenship, and social class. As a result, developing and developed nations are racked with inequalities when it comes to reproductive matters. From slavery, access to birth control, stratified reproduction, sex selective abortions, and new reproductive technologies, this course will focus on difficult topics; but, no answers will be provided. The hope is that you will find answers for yourself about what you mean by reproductive justice, and how you think it can be achieved. My aim is that we will emerge at the end of the semester with an open mind regarding health, and a more complicated, empathetic understanding of what reproductive justice means. You will, hopefully, attempt to make reproductive a part of your worldview and everyday life.
SOC 336D Race, Class, and Health
This is a course that takes a close and hard look at the health and health care disparities among racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States. The health disparities in the U.S. have been well studied by academics, public health officers, and policy makers for more than three decades. However, the disparities have not narrowed or diminished. The recent Covid-19 pandemic crystalized the impact of structural inequalities in the U.S. on health, disease and death among minority group members. In this class, we will review the complex relationship between social class (socioeconomic status) and health, social class and race, the effect of race/ethnicity on health outcomes and access to healthcare, and specific health issues for major racial/ethnic minority groups in the U.S. Course topics include: conceptual issues central to understanding how low socioeconomic status leads to poor health, understanding how conscious, unconscious, and institutionalized racial bias affects not only health outcomes, but also education, employment, social and physical living conditions, access to medical care. In addition, we will engage in discussions on ways to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity for racial/ethnic minorities. Health and health disparities are analyzed from biosocial and life-course perspectives. Social determinants of health and principles of health equity provide the underlying conceptual frameworks for this class.
T C 358 HUMANITIES HEALTHCARE ADVCY-WB
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Our healthcare system is broken; physician leaders must develop advocacy skills to help reshape it. Clearly, the best advocacy regarding healthcare is based on careful research. Much of this research follows the evidence-based pathway, and involves using computing power to analyze large population samples with regard to the demographics of health, illness, and treatment. From the perspective of research ethics, this kind of investigation lends itself to institutional review board compliance. Your teacher for this course, Professor Stephen Sonnenberg, M.D., is trained to conduct this kind of research. But he is also a trained non-quantitative, humanities based healthcare researcher, and in this course he will teach you how to engage in that kind of research, and explain its value. He believes that non-quantitative research illuminates an important component of the total picture of illness and health, that population health and clinical research experts must work to construct. He has experienced non-quantitative humanities based research as a source of creative and innovative hypothesis formation, a conduit to deep and self-reflective thinking, functioning as a critical part of overall research and treatment strategies. At the same time he is mindful of the challenge of conducting this form of research ethically, especially when it is in the service of advocacy. This course offers you a chance to develop the skill of conducting ethical non-quantitative research, and the writing of white papers based on your findings, in the service of advocacy. As opposed to the typical paper that appears in a medical journal, white papers are authoritative reports based on research that propose solutions for challenging issues. In this course you will learn to be public intellectual healthcare providers. This course will employ the lenses of history, literature, drama, and film to explore how humanities based healthcare research can be conducted with the goal of advocacy. The course will also focus on experiential learning. You will work as a consultant to an organization that identifies a healthcare challenge to be investigated, researching a healthcare problem first using information derived from humanities disciplinary sources as the foundation and cornerstone of your investigation. That will then be supplemented by available demographic data. After that you will define the scope of the problem, and write a white paper advocating for a plan to allow your client organization to further address, research, and solve that problem, meet that challenge, accomplish that task.
T C 358 ETHICS AND MEDICINE
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This is a Junior Plan II Honors seminar that examines ethical issues in medicine. In the first three weeks of the course, we will build on students’ previous experience in Philosophy 610 by refreshing and deepening their knowledge of moral philosophy, including Kantian deontology, utilitarian consequentialism, virtue ethics, and communitarianism. Then we read, discuss, and analyze some classic and contemporary cases and issues in biomedical and social ethics, including: human reproductive cloning and genetic modification; physician participation in executions; Mrs. Boomsma’s case; The Willowbrook Hepatitis Studies; Dax Cowart’s case; proposals for health care reform on a national level; global migration of health care workers; classifying psychiatric disorders; hidden and explicit biases in health care access and treatment; and medical vs. social models of disability. Students will prepare and present one group project (groups of two) and one individual project during the semester. The group project will take contrasting positions on an issue from the readings. The individual project will be a research paper and presentation on an issue from the course syllabus or an issue of the student’s choice, with instructor approval. The research paper topic choices will be the focus of week six of the course, in which we will workshop proposed paper topics and provide peer review of topic choices and proposed paper structures. Classes will be seminars, with most of the session devoted to student discussion.
T C 358 Infant Nutrition
One of the biggest issues in public nutrition policy relates optimizing early infant and childhood nutrition throughout the world. Often perceived as primarily a breast vs formula-feeding discussion, it is much more than that and relates to a number of issues, which often come down to concerns of cost and equity in distributing food and healthcare throughout the world. As a fundamental example of this, nearly ½ of all infants in the US receive subsidized infant formula from the government via the WIC program. However, virtually all of this formula is not the best that the infant formula companies produce but in fact leaves out potentially important bioactive components that are only sold to high paying customers throughout the world Furthermore, marketing of formula and other infant nutrition products often targets lower income and minority families and discourages breast feeding or using lower cost non-commercial weaning foods. The US is the only country in the world that voted against public limitations on formula advertising and remains a place where inappropriate formula and infant and early childhood marketing of food is standard and common in all forms of media. In this course, we will go through the history of infant and early childhood feeding in the US and around the world and then will focus on the societal issues that lead to deep inequities in breastfeeding, formula, and overall infant nutritional health and how they are maintained and even increased by current trends and events such as COVID-19. we will discuss the conflicts of interest of groups responsible for public nutrition policy and the failure of government to protect infants and families in the US and around the world from inappropriate feeding practices. We will discuss excesses which occur when overzealous advocacy of breastfeeding leaves babies at risk of inadequate nutrition and fails to respect families, especially lower income families, who faced with grossly inadequate parental leave policies, have little choice but to provide formula in many cases. Finally, we will discuss the introduction of solid foods to older infants and toddlers and the crucial governmental policy decisions needed to ensure safety, effectiveness, and equitable use of such products especially in low-and middle-income countries. Balancing cost for nutritional quality and safety are ongoing challenges that we will address.

Integration Essay

A 3-4 page essay in which you reflect on what you learned and accomplished through your BDP experience.

Important Notes on Fulfilling Your BDP Requirements


For more information on courses, please consult your BDP advisor (bdp@austin.utexas.edu) or the course schedule.