Current Undergraduate Courses

MHS 1111, First-Year Writing Seminar – FYS: Medicine Health Body
Instructor: Odie Lindsey, MFA

Independent learning and inquiry in an environment in which students can express knowledge and defend opinions through intensive class discussion, oral presentations, and written expression.

MHS 1920, Politics of Health
Instructor: Tara McKay, PhD

Sociocultural analysis of the conflicts, definitions, inequalities, and structures of power that influence health.

MHS 1940, Racial Ethnics Health Disparities
Instructor: Derek Griffith, PhD

Relationship between health outcomes and race and ethnicity. Historical and contemporary factors influencing differences in health outcomes, including mental health, HIV/AIDS, and other chronic diseases. Explanations of health disparities and of strategies to reduce them.

MHS 1930, Fundamentals of Medicine, Health, and Society
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

A multidisciplinary introduction to the study of medicine, health, and society, drawing on the perspectives of anthropology, economics, history, literature, political science and policy studies, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology. Guest lectures by representatives of the various disciplines. (P)

MHS 2610, Global Health Crises
Instructor: Tara McKay, PhD

Development of global health priorities, responses to emerging crises, and unintended consequences of global health interventions. No credit for students who have earned credit for MHS 3890-01 offered fall 2015 or MHS 3890-02 offered spring 2016. [3] (INT)

MHS 3010, Global Public Health
Instructor: Abelardo Moncayo, PhD

Global Perspectives on Public Health provides an interdisciplinary introduction to some major global health issues and practices in the developing and the developed world. In particular, the course will nurture critical thinking about global health challenges, strategies, and solutions. The course incorporates lecture, discussion, critical analytical exercises, case studies, and guest specialists from a variety of fields. (P)

MHS 3020 U.S. Public Health Ethics and Policy
Instructor: Elizabeth Heitman, PhD

Critical perspectives on ethical and policy issues in US public health. (P)

MHS 3320, Introduction to US Health Care Policy
Instructor: Sayeh Nikpay, PhD, MPH

Key features of U.S. health care system. Financing and delivery; historical trends; comparisons to other countries. Methods of health policy evaluation. [3] (SBS)

MHS 3110, Global Health & Social Justice
Instructor: Dominique Behague, PhD

Global health institutions, policies, and practices. Issues of social justice. Anthropological, sociological, and scientific studies that address the social, moral, political and economic factors influencing the definition of and response to global health problems. No credit for students who earned credit for 290 section 4 in fall 2012.

MHS 3050W, Medicine and Literature
Instructor: Odie Lindsey, PhD

Narrative analysis, and other humanistic, interpretative practices of relevance to medicine and health.

MHS 2420, Economic Demography and Global Health
Instructor: Martha Jones, PhD

Economic consequences of demographic change in developing and developed countries. Links between socioeconomic status and health; relationship between health and economic growth; determinants of fertility, mortality, and migration.

MHS 2110, American Medicine and the World
Instructor: Laura Stark, PhD

Social foundations of medical authority. Health disparities in the United States and abroad. Effects of social settings of medical research, evaluation, and treatment on health outcomes. Inequalities in medical knowledge and institutions.

MHS 2120, Health Social Movements
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

Health inequality and inequity based on race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality. Issues related to access to health care services. Crusades for certain diseases, illness experiences, and disabilities. Challenging science on etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. No credit for students who earned credit for 290 section 1 in fall 2012.

MHS 2130, Social Movements and Community Action
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

The literature of social activism. How citizens individually and collectively accomplish and resist social change. Historical and contemporary health movements as case studies to illustrate the advantages and limitations of social change strategies.

MHS 2250, War and the Body
Instructor: Kenneth MacLeish, PhD

The impact of war on the human body. Anthropology of the body and theories of bodily experience. Production, representation, and experience of war, military and medical technologies on a bodily level. Acceptable and unacceptable types of harm. No credit for students who completed 290 section 2 in fall 2012. (P)

MHS 4050, Narrative Medicine
Instructor: Scott Pearson, PhD

As the field of medicine becomes increasingly technology driven and information rich, doctors are finding it harder to listen to and respond to their patients. As a result, patients feel less understood and have begun to devalue the clinical experience. In response to this dilemma, medical schools are beginning to train students in the field of literature in programs known as Narrative Medicine. The premise of such an approach is that through close attention to patients’ stories, physicians will learn to appreciate the experiences of their patients. In this course, we will dissect the doctor-patient relationship as illustrated by illness narratives and other literary works. (HCA)

MHS 3220, Healthcare Organizations
Instructor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

Key healthcare organizations in the context of policies governing the U.S. healthcare system. How organizations and policies shape the meaning of health and the dynamics of medical encounters. No credit for students who have earned credit for 295 in spring 2012.

MHS 3150, Death and Dying
Instructor: Joseph Fanning, PhD

How do we and should we understand and respond to death, dying, and bereavement in America? This course explores our inheritance of attitudes, vocabularies, social practices, and institutions that cultivate and constrain our actions and thoughts about death. Influential texts and core concepts across a range of disciplines will be introduced and used to analyze and reflect on multiple mediations of death in contemporary society. The class will combine theoretical readings, lectures, discussion, analytical exercises, and experiential components. Students will also volunteer 20-25 hours at relevant agencies, e.g. Alive Hospice, and keep a journal analyzing their experiences in light of course materials, themes, and concepts. (P)

MHS 2230, Masculinity and Men’s Health
Instructor: Jonathan Metzl, MD, PhD

Interdisciplinary approach to men’s health issues and to perceptions of masculinity. The history of men’s diseases. Men in clinical settings. Social policies that affect men’s health behaviors. No credit for students who earned credit for 290 section 5 in fall 2012.

MHS 2330, Men’s Health Research
Instructor: Derek Griffith, PhD

Concepts and theories of men’s health. Global and domestic issues. Effect of men’s social and economic advantages on health outcomes. Strategies to improve men’s health; relationships between cultural values and health policy; and cultural explanations that shape men’s health campaigns. No credit for students who earned credit for 290 section 14 in spring 2013. [3] (SBS)

MHS 3030, Community Health Research
Instructor: Hector Myers, PhD

Conceptual and methodological challenges. Focus on descriptive studies and intervention research to address health disparities in chronic diseases and psychiatric disorders.

MHS 2410, HIV/AIDS in Global Community
Instructor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

Medical, social, political, economic, and public policy dimensions of HIV/AIDS. Prevention and treatment strategies, social stigma, and discrimination. Repeat credit for students who completed 290 section 2 in fall 2009 and for students who completed 290 section 5 in fall 2008.

MHS 2430, Social Capital and Health
Instructor: Lijun Song, PhD

Theoretical approaches to social capital and their applications to the social production of disease and illness. Theoretical background of social capital; the conceptualization and measurement of social capital; and the multiple roles of social capital as a social antecedent of health. Serves as repeat credit for students who completed 290 section 5 in spring 2010 and section 1 in spring 2011. [3] (SBS)

MHS 2240, Bionic Bodies, Cultural Cyborgs
Instructor: Aimi Hamraie, PhD

Historical and cultural evolution of prosthetics, artificial limbs, and other assistive technologies. Shifts in social views resulting from war, economics, and art and design. Critical texts, films, art practices, and technological advancements. [3] (HCA)

MHS 2320, Medicine, Law, and Society
Instructor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to major issues in medicine and law including the physician-patient relationship, medical malpractice, physician and patient decision-making rights, healthcare financing and the power of the government to protect the public’s health. Students will be challenged to think critically about the appropriate role of the law in matters of individual and public health. (SBS)

MHS 2610, Medicine on Trial
Instructor: Laura Stark, PhD

Medicine as an object of dispute and a source of evidence in courts of law. Key cases and issues in western law and medicine adjudicated in religious, military, tribal, national, and international courts. [3] (SBS)

MHS 3120, Medicine, Technology, and Society
Instructor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

Tensions between art and science in medicine. The effect of science and technology on the doctor-patient relationship. Social and ethical issues raised by new biomedical developments. Repeat credit for students who completed 295 section 1 in fall 2009.

MHS 2150, Medical Humanities
Instructor: Aimi Hamraie, PhD

Conceptual and creative analysis of philosophy, literature, art, and music to identify and account for human nature in the medical context. Ethical, practical, and social management of medical technology. Theories of art, music, and literature to understand human creativity and self-explanation in the face of illness and difference. Serves as repeat credit for students who completed 295 section 2 in either spring 2010 or spring 2009.

MHS 2520, Autism in Context
Instructor: Elisabeth Sandberg, PhD

Multiple manifestations. Impact, questions, and debates. Familial, educational, sociological, legal, and medical contexts. [3] (SBS)

MHS 4010, Global Psychiatry
Instructor: Dominique Behague, PhD

Cross-cultural analysis of mental illness; the emergence of cultural psychiatry; and the globalization of biopsychiatry and neuroscience. No credit for students who earned credit for 295 section 2 in fall 2012. [3] (P)

MHS 3250, Perspectives on Trauma
Instructor: Kenneth MacLeish, PhD

Trauma as a framework for understanding individual and collective suffering. Trauma in the context of medicine, war, and politics, and of racial, sexual, and gender inequalities. Alternative ways of conceptualizing feeling, memory and loss. No credit for students who earned credit for 295 section 02 in spring 2013. [3] (SBS)

MHS 3310, Health Care in France and U.S.

MHS 3880, Internship Training
Instructor: Various

Under faculty supervision, students from any discipline can gain experience in a broad range of public and private agencies, institutions, and programs devoted to health care, public health, health-related policy and research. Two options are available. (1) Full-time: 12-15 hours total, including 6-9 hours in 293a, and 6 hours in 293b. (2) Part-time: 2-9 hours total, including 1-6 hours in 293a and 1-3 hours in 293b. To be accepted for either option, students must have a 2.90 grade point average and 6 hours of prior work in approved MHS courses; they must submit a specific plan for the internship to the MHS program director. After completing the internship, all students must write a thorough report. Note: All work for an internship must be completed during a single semester or summer. Must be taken Pass/Fail and concurrently with 293b. These hours shall not be included in the minimum hours required for the MHS major or minor. Corequisite: 293b. [Variable credit: 1-9]

MHS 3881, Internship Readings and Research
Instructor: Various

Under faculty supervision, students from any discipline can gain experience in a broad range of public and private agencies, institutions, and programs devoted to health care, public health, health-related policy and research. Two options are available. (1) Full-time: 12-15 hours total, including 6-9 hours in 293a, and 6 hours in 293b. (2) Part-time: 2-9 hours total, including 1-6 hours in 293a and 1-3 hours in 293b. To be accepted for either option, students must have a 2.90 grade point average and 6 hours of prior work in approved MHS courses; they must submit a specific plan for the internship to the MHS program director. After completing the internship, all students must write a thorough report. Note: All work for an internship must be completed during a single semester or summer. Students will write a substantial research or interpretative paper under the supervision of a regular Vanderbilt faculty member. Corequisite: 293a. [Variable credit: 1-6]

MHS 3830, Service Learning
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

Under faculty supervision, students will design a program of community service associated with a set of learning objectives. The service component (294a) should benefit both the recipient and the provider of the service, offering the latter opportunities for self-reflection, self-discovery, and the development of values, skills, and knowledge. A central objective must be firsthand experience of a central issue or issues studied in sociology, psychology, political science, economics, or another academic discipline. The MHS program will work to find placements for interested students. The other component, 294b, will consist of an independent study in the relevant discipline and must be closely linked to the issue(s) addressed in 294a. For example, a student may provide services to the elderly in nursing homes and use 294b to study how state and federal policies affect the delivery of health care and other services to nursing home populations. To be accepted, students must have a 2.90 overall grade point average and 6 hours of prior work in approved MHS courses. They must submit a specific plan for the service-learning experience to the MHS program director. Must be taken Pass/Fail and concurrently with 294b. These hours shall not be included in the minimum hours required for the MHS major or minor. After completing the experience, all students must write a thorough report. Corequisite: 294b. [1-3]

MHS 3831, Service Learning Research
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

Students will write a substantial research paper under the supervision of a faculty member, on a topic related to their service learning experience.

MHS 3000, Undergraduate Seminar
Instructor: Various

Advanced reading, research, and writing. Topics vary. Limited to juniors and seniors with preference to majors in Medicine, Health, and Society. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. Offered on a graded basis only. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of MHS 3000] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 3850, Independent Study
Instructor: Various

A program of reading and/or research in one area of MHS studies to be selected in consultation with an adviser. Normally limited to qualified MHS minors or majors. Approval of faculty adviser and MHS program director required for enrollment. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication in topic, but students may earn only up to 3 credits per semester of enrollment. (However, students in the MHS honors program may count a total of 12 hours in MHS 3850, including the 6 hours in the senior year devoted to preparation of the honors thesis. The same instructor will ordinarily supervise work on the honors thesis in both fall and spring semesters; a student may work with a thesis adviser who has previously supervised an independent study with that student.) [1-3; maximum of 6 credits for all semesters of MHS 3850; maximum of 12 credits for students in the MHS honors program] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 4998, Honors Research
Instructor: Various

Offered on a graded basis only. Limited to seniors admitted to the departmental honors program. [3] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 4999, Honors Thesis
Instructor: Various

Offered on a graded basis only. Limited to seniors admitted to the departmental honors program. [3] (No AXLE credit)