Sociology | Social Problems & Policies
S101 | 0574 | Mossakowski

Topic:  Medicine in America:  Physicians, Patients & their Problems

This course is an introduction to medical sociology.  Health,
illness and medical care are important social issues.  While the
profession of medicine has at its disposal the most powerful
technology ever known and the most generous financial support ever
provided by the public sector, why has it failed to cure society’s
ills?  We will closely examine how social factors influence health
and the quality of medical care.

We will explore topics about physicians,
patients, and their problems from a sociological perspective.  What
is health?  What social groups are most likely to become ill?  How
does social inequality influence health?    How can we cope with
stress? Is the individual or the health care system responsible for
health?  Is being sick a social role?  Should deviant behavior be
medicalized and labeled a mental illness?  In addition, the purpose
of medical service in the United States will be discussed and how
doctor-patient interaction can be improved.

There is a debate about the contributions and limitations of medical
science in the United States.  Can we, the public, change the focus,
direction, and the costs of medical care?  Overall, medical
sociology is relevant for many disciplines such as medicine, public
health, epidemiology, physical education, psychology, law and