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SOCY 360

Sociology of Medicine and Health

This course will examine how determinants of health – both for individuals and for populations – are not just medical or biological but are shaped in large part by our social environments. The likelihood that we achieve good health and maintain it over the life course varies depending on our socioeconomic status, gender, race-ethnicity, and other social factors.

We will describe how health status is influenced by these factors and why, discussing both theoretical perspectives and empirical research findings. In addition, we will discuss sociological perspectives on the field of medicine and health care delivery, particularly how power and status operate within this area. This course may be of particular interest to:

  • Pre-med, nursing, exercise science, and psychology majors who want to improve their future patient and client care by understanding how social factors shape the health and health decisions of their clientele.
  • Public health and political science majors who want to understand how social forces and social policy affect population health outcomes.
  • Pre-med students who will be preparing to take the new MCAT.
  • Sociology majors who are interested in how sociological frameworks can be applied to health and the medical field.
  • Any student who is interested in how social factors shape their health and the health of others.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes

Upon successful completion of SOCY 360, you will be able to:

  • Describe how various social and behavioral determinants impact population health.
  • Apply sociological theories and concepts to issues related to health behaviors, health care access, and health outcomes.
  • Describe how health status differs according to SES, race-ethnicity, immigration status, and gender in the U.S and explain why these differences exist.
  • Describe how power and status shape interactions among healthcare providers and between providers and patients.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.