Global and Community Health

Credits: 4 CREDITS (2P+2B)
Director(s): Molly Franke, Louise Ivers
Offered: March
Location: HMS - Harvard Medical School (0)
Open to Exclerks: No (HMS only)
Description: Summary: While substantial advances have been made in the quest for health equity and the delivery of healthcare to vulnerable populations over the last fifty years, much remains to be done to deliver on a promise of “health for all” in communities in Boston and around the world. The course will emphasize how the social and population sciences are applied to address problems of health access and health equity in vulnerable populations. Students will learn or deepen their understanding of clinical epidemiology and population health, health policy, and social medicine as it applies to key public health challenges in Boston and globally, especially related to disease outbreaks, and diseases affecting the poorest populations. The goal of the course is to prepare students with tools required to understand challenges and to explore opportunities to address health inequities. Format of classroom-based sessions: Three afternoons per week will be as a full group in class. We will explore current issues of global public health importance such as investigating disease outbreaks, control of diarrheal disease, substance use disorder, access to surgery, and community health worker models. We will consider how basic science discoveries (like vaccines or new therapeutics) get applied to emerging public health problems, as well as the challenges and opportunities to doing so. Sessions will include case-based learning led by course directors, discussion of the research literature, as well as invited expert speakers. Format of clinical/field experiences: Students attend 2 clinics/group experiential learning sessions per week with a focus on vulnerable populations. The goal is to use patient encounters to stimulate questions about how the methods discussed in class have a role to play in exploring the frontiers of healthcare delivery in these groups. Students will keep a log of patient experiences and questions that will be discussed in class. Anticipated schedule: All AISCs are full time courses. Students are expected to devote at least 40 hours per week to scheduled sessions and preparatory work. Students will meet for 3 half days in class per week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons (with some exceptions) and also have either two half-day clinic sessions or one half-day field experience and one half-day clinic session per week, on Wednesdays and Friday afternoons (with possible exceptions).