Sociology | Topics in Social Policy: Medicine and Society (3 CR)
S360 | 25965 | Thoits

9:30AM-10:45AM	MW	SB 150

The purpose of this course is to examine health, illness, patient-
hood, medical professionals, and health care systems with a critical
sociological eye.  Sociologists often ask somewhat bothersome
questions:  How are disease rates and death rates distributed by
social status?  What types of people are benefitted, ignored, or
even harmed by the medical system?  Where does the power lie in the
system?  What factors predict good versus poor doctor-patient
relationships?  How has managed care changed hospitals, nursing
practices, and doctor-patient relationships?  Why is the U.S. the
only first-world nation without universal health care?  Is it
possible to reduce dramatic inequalities in people’s access to
adequate medical care in the U.S.?

Our goal is to expand our understanding of illness and of
conventional medical practices by asking questions and seeking new
answers that might eventually, through your possible future efforts
as administrators, public health workers, physicians, nurses,
medical journalists, or well-informed patients, help improve the
nature of health care in America.  Students will take three exams
and will write two thoughtful essays based on central readings in
the course.