#MedEd / Medcetera / Public Health

EqualHealth Opens up Social Medicine Course

From the EqualHealth website:

Beyond the Biological Basis of Disease: The Social and Economic Causation of Illness is offered by EqualHealth in collaboration with SocMed, an organization that advocates for and implements global health curricula founded on the study of social medicine. EqualHealth is excited to expand upon SocMed’s well-established curriculum to focus on the specific situation in Haiti. The course aims to facilitate students’ understanding of their role in global health and social medicine, developing the knowledge and perspective to become the next generation of leaders in the global health arena.

July 2016 will mark the launch of the fourth annual “Beyond the Biological Basis for Disease” course in Haiti.  This annual three-week course, which is designed for health profession students of all levels, links tropical medicine with social medicine teaching.  The course will be taught in French.

This course represents the first site expansion of a course that has been offered for the past four years in Gulu, Uganda by SocMed (www.socmedglobal.org).   SocMed’s implementing partner in the launch of the Haiti course is EqualHealth (www.equalhealth.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering Haiti’s next generation of health professionals through professional development and continuing education.

20 students will participate in the course, five from the University of the Aristide Foundation (UniFA) and other Haitian medical and nursing schools, and the other ten from around the world.  The course will be hosted at the Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante hospital in Cange, and students participating in the course will have the opportunity to visit other sites around Haiti.

The course merges a number of unique pedagogical approaches including field visits, classroom- based presentations and discussions, group reflections, student presentations, films, and bedside teaching. These approaches are utilized to create an innovative, interactive learning environment in which students participate as both learners and teachers.  We hope to advance the entire class’ understanding of the interactions between the biology of disease and the social, cultural, economic, political, and historical factors that influence illness presentation and social experience.

The course curriculum places great importance on building partnerships and encouraging students to reflect upon their personal experiences with power, privilege, race, class, gender, and sexual orientation as central to effective partnership building in global health. In the spirit of praxis (a model of education that combines critical reflection with action) these components of the course give students the opportunity to discern their role in global health and social medicine through facilitated, in-depth conversations with core faculty and student colleagues.


This is an exciting opportunity for those who are looking to gain field experience as well as hands on experience on working in a difficult setting. Given the resource constrained settings in Haiti, this is also going to be invaluable experience for those who want hands on, practical experience of working in such zones.

Application procedures, eligibility criteria, and other details are available on the site as linked above.

If you do decide to apply for this, then please do let me know about your experience and we can write a short blog post on this matter.

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