Handbook> Electives > Humanities and Ethics in Medicine > Medicine and Culture

Electives - Humanities and Ethics in Medicine

Medicine and Culture

Elective Number: (Oasis E18g) 3507

Course Supervisor: Dr. Gertrude Fraser

Designated Signer: Dr. Marcia Childress, 5361 Barringer; 434.924.5974; woolf@virginia.edu


Report to: Gertrude Fraser

Time to Report: TBA

Place to Report: TBA

Typical day: TBA

Attendance: Attendance at elective activities is mandatory.

  • Anyone who is ill or has a personal or family emergency must contact Student Affairs and the Attending on Service.
  • Students are allowed to take off up to 1 day per week to interview between November 1 and February 1.
    • Specific days missed must be approved by the Attending on Service.

Number of students per rotation: Minimum of 4, Maximum of 10

Course Description: This course explores medical anthropology, focusing the anthropologist's lens particularly on biomedicine as a cultural system; on the learning and practice of medicine; and on the health implications of gender, race, and class in our society.

Learning objectives: Students will be able to:

• Understand principles, theories and methods of medical anthropology as a discipline and as a lens for studying the culture of biomedicine
• Understand and discuss foundational literature in medical anthropology related to the education and training of physicians
• Track and critically appreciate the acculturation of physicians in medicine and its specialties
• Articulate social determinants of health that are affected by gender, race and class in contemporary American society
• Identify and research an anthropological subject of individual interest and prepare an analytical report for class presentation
• reflect on their own professional formation, education, and clinical experience.

This course is a series of seminars organized around readings from a cross-section of academic and popular literature, including some foundational texts in medical anthropology. Participants are actively engaged in discussion and expected to integrate their own personal and professional experience into their course work. Students prepare individual projects that use anthropological theories and tools to analyze and interpret a particular medical setting, situation, or subject. Students also attend Medical Center Hour.

This description is a general overview. The supervisor will establish the schedule and particular requirements at the time of the course.