2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

The Biological and Sociological Foundations of Health


Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 quarters

Carolyn Prouty health science, public health, bioethics , Wenhong Wang sociology, journalism, communication
Fields of Study
biology, health, mathematics, physiology and sociology
Preparatory for studies or careers in
This program is appropriate for students interested in careers in the allied health fields and public health including medicine, midwifery, nursing, sociology, or psychology, as well as preparation for further upper division science study and social science (sociology) .
 High school algebra.  

This introductory two-quarter interdisciplinary program explores the basics of health and illness from both biological and sociological perspectives. We will focus on the social, cultural and scientific aspects of human health and health care in the U.S. primarily, with some comparative examination of global health topics. Our case-based approach will cover human biology, anatomy, physiology, nutrition and statistics, while also examining the social aspects of health, illness, and health care.

Enhancing our study of human systems biology, we will examine topics such as cancer, reproductive technologies, tobacco, and HIV/AIDS , how cultures interact with medical systems, and end-of-life decision-making . These specific topics will provide the platform to explore health care systems, social and cultural constructions of health and illness, the social determinants of health, role development of health care professionals and their relationships with patients , and ethical issues confronted by health care professionals.   We’ll also cover basic descriptive and inferential statistics , which will give us quantitative tools to untangle some of the complex issues within these topics.

Program activities will include lectures, seminar, lab work, workshops, small-group problem solving, guest lectures, film viewing, and individual and group projects. Students will undertake writing, laboratory, and statistical assignments focused on interpreting and integrating the topics covered.  Students will learn the foundational skills of scientific research and the ability to critically examine issues related to human health through a variety of lenses.

Students who complete both quarters will have a solid foundation in human anatomy, physiology, nutrition, statistics, and medical sociology with a working knowledge of the biological, social and ethical principles relating to human health and public health.

Students interested in further science study will likely need significant work with general chemistry, which they can get in the  spring-quarter   General Chemistry program.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
Fall $50 for supplies.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
April 26th, 2012 new program added