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Current Undergraduate Courses

MHS 1001. Commons Seminar. [Formerly MHS 99] Topics vary. General Elective credit only. [1] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 1111. First-Year Writing Seminar. 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. May be repeated for credit once if there is no duplication of topic, but students may earn only up to 3 credits in any 1111 course per semester of enrollment. [3; maximum of 6 credits total for all semesters of 1111] (AXLE credit category varies by section)

MHS 1600. Introduction to Nutrition and Health for a Changing World. Nutrition science and research; basic principles of digestion and absorption; role of specific nutrients and dietary practices in health promotion and chronic disease prevention. Nutrition throughout the lifespan. Not intended for students who have previously taken NURS 1601 or NURS 1602. [3] (MNS)

MHS 1920. Politics of Health. Sociocultural analysis of the conflicts, definitions, inequalities, and structures of power that influence health. [3] (P)

MHS 1930. Social Dimensions of Health and Illness. Multidisciplinary introduction to health conditions from perspectives of anthropology, economics, history, political science and policy studies, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology. Guest lectures by representatives of various disciplines. [3] (P)

MHS 1940. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. 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. [3] (SBS)

MHS 1950. Theories of the Body. Interdisciplinary study of the human body through critical theory, history, philosophy, art, and popular culture. How cultural understandings of bodies reflect broader social, political, scientific, and legal regimes. [3] (HCA)

MHS 2110. American Medicine and the World. 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. [3] (P)

MHS 2120. Health Social Movements. 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. [3] (P)

MHS 2130. Social Movements and Community Action. 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. [3] (SBS)

MHS 2140. Health Care in the United States: Policy and Politics. Public health and health care delivery systems. Evolving social and economic climates that shape health. Topics include health care access, cost, quality, and health disparities; trends in health care industries; the global COVID-19 pandemic; and comparative health systems. Not open to students who have completed MHS 3890-06 offered spring 2021, or MHS 3890-03 offered fall 2020. [3] (US)

MHS 2150. Medical Humanities. 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. [3] (HCA)

MHS 2230. Masculinity and Men’s Health. 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. [3] (P)

MHS 2240. Bionic Bodies, Disability Cultures. Historical and cultural evolution of prosthetics, artificial limbs, and other assistive technologies. Shifts in social views resulting from war, economics, and art and design. [3] (HCA)

MHS 2250. War and the Body. Impact of war on the human body. Anthropology of the body and theories of bodily experience. Production, representation, and experience of war and of military and medical technologies on a bodily level. Acceptable and unacceptable types of harm. [3] (P)

MHS 2310. Chinese Society and Medicine. Medicine and health in contemporary China. Social organization of medical care, social determinants of health and disease, social construction of health and disease, and health-related social problems. [3] (SBS)

MHS 2320. Medicine, Law, and Society. Survey of issues in medicine and law, including the physician-patient relationship, medical malpractice, organ donation, healthcare financing, and the limits and powers of the government to protect the public’s health. [3] (SBS)

MHS 2330. Men’s Health Research & Policy. 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. [3] (SBS)

MHS 2333. Policing the Pandemic. Examines the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of policing. [3]

MHS 2350. Italian Representations of Wellness and Illness. From 1300 to the present. Depictions of health and sickness in Italian literature, art, and film. Historical, cultural, and social dimensions of health in Italy and changes in the societal approach to health. Italian society’s views on health, wellness, and the stigmatization of physical and mental illness. [3] (INT)

MHS 2410. HIV/AIDS in the Global Community. Medical, social, political, economic, and public policy dimensions of HIV/ AIDS. Prevention and treatment strategies, social stigma, and discrimination. [3] (P)

MHS 2420. Economic Demography and Global Health. 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. [3] (SBS)

MHS 2430. Social Capital and Health. 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. [3] (SBS)

MHS 2510. Caring for Vulnerable Populations. Humanitarian aid and the risks and responsibilities in providing for vulnerable populations. Differences between acute and chronic crises. Geopolitical, cultural, clinical, and practical factors. [3] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 2520. Autism in Context. Multiple manifestations. Impact, questions, and debates. Familial, educational, sociological, legal, and medical contexts. [3] (SBS)

MHS 2610. Global Health Crises. 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 3890-01 offered fall 2015 or 3890-02 offered spring 2016. [3] (INT)

MHS 2920. Medicine on Trial. Medicine as an object of dispute and a source of evidence in courts of law. Key cases and issues in Western law. Medicine adjudicated in religious, military, tribal, national, and international courts. [3] (SBS)

MHS 2940. Race, Citizenship, and Health. Social and historical impacts of immigration, settlement, nation formation, labor exploitation, imperialism, and globalization on populations categorized as victims, vectors of disease, or sanitary citizens. Health as a key site in which the meaning of race and citizenship are developed and navigated. No credit for students who have earned credit for 3000 offered fall 2016 or spring 2017. [3] (P)

MHS 2950. Healing Animals. Animals as subjects of medical research and as patients in veterinary medicine. Health of animals as friends, food, entertainment, and vectors of disease. Celebration and concealment of the centrality of animals in modern medicine through legal, economic, social, and emotional techniques. [3] (P)

MHS  3000. Undergraduate Seminar. 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 3010. Global Health Principles and Practice. Introduction to major global health principles and practices in the developing and developed world. Perspectives of public health practitioners and critical thinking about global health challenges and solutions. [3] (P)

MHS 3020. U.S. Public Health Ethics and Policy. Critical perspectives on ethical and policy issues in U.S. public health. [3] (P)

MHS 3030. Community Health Research. Conceptual and methodological challenges. Focus on descriptive studies and intervention research to address health disparities in chronic diseases and psychiatric disorders. [3] (SBS)

MHS 3040. Designing Healthy Publics. Politics of public health and the built environment in U.S. cities from the nineteenth century to the present. Critical perspectives on health promotion, research, and design. Nashville as a case study. [3] (US)

MHS 3050W. Medicine and Literature. Narrative analysis, and other humanistic, interpretive practices of relevance to medicine and health. [3] (HCA)

MHS 3101. Human Anatomy and Physiology I. Structure and function of the human organism. Integration of the gross anatomical structures and organ systems with microscopic structure, physiological function, and homeostatic mechanisms. Clinical relevance of selected topics. No credit for students who have earned credit for NURS 3101. One semester of a college-level course in biology or chemistry is expected. [4] (MNS)

MHS 3102. Human Anatomy and Physiology II. Continuation of 3101. Structure and function of the human organism. Integration of the gross anatomical structures and organ systems with microscopic structure, physiological function, and homeostatic mechanisms. Clinical relevance of selected topics. No credit for students who have earned credit for NURS 3102. [4] (MNS)

MHS 3110. Global Health and Social Justice. 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. [3] (P)

MHS 3120. Medicine, Technology, and Society. 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. [3] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 3140. Afrofuturism and Cultural Criticisms of Medicine. Exploration of Afrofuturism as a literary genre and its critique of the impact of techno-science and medicine on black health, life, and futurity. Multidisciplinary approach in understanding novels, memoirs, and secondary texts. [3] (HCA)

MHS 3150. Death and Dying in America. Interdisciplinary introduction to thanatology; changes in medicine and attitudes towards dying as they reshape the American way of death in a multicultural landscape. [3] (P)

MHS 3210. Health, Development, and Culture in Guatemala. Social dimensions of health in Guatemalan communities. History, culture, and political economy. Spanish language skills strongly recommended. Instructor consent required. [3] (INT)

MHS 3212. Health, Development, and Culture in Guatemala. Social and political dimensions of health and development in Guatemala through fieldwork and service learning in rural Maya communities in Quetzaltenango and Sololá. Prerequisite: 3210. [1-3] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 3220. Healthcare Organizations. 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. [3] (SBS)

MHS 3250. Perspectives on Trauma. 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. [3] (SBS)

MHS 3310. Healthcare Systems Comparisons. Maymester. Travel to France and Italy. Comparison of US healthcare system to universal healthcare systems. On-site healthcare facilities visits. Role of government, insurance coverage and financing, strategies, quality of care, disparities, care coordination, electronic health records, costs, innovations and reforms. Taught in English. Offered on a graded basis only. [3] (INT)

MHS 3320. Introduction to U.S. Health Care Policy. Key features of U.S. health care system. Financing and delivery; historical trends; and comparisons to other countries. Methods of health policy evaluation. [3] (SBS)

MHS 3350. Medicine, Religion, and Spirituality. How individuals, families, and communities deal with such life events as birth, serious illness and injury, disability, war, and death through the combined belief in medicine and religion. Sources include fiction, poetry, drama, film, and texts. Research seminar. [3] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 3450. Mental Illness Narratives. Mental illness experiences through memoir, film, and spoken word. No credit for students who have earned credit for 3890-01 offered spring 2017 or 3890-02 offered fall 2016. [3] (P)

MHS 3830. Service Learning. Under faculty supervision, students will design a program of community service associated with a set of learning objectives. The service component (3830) 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, 3831, will consist of an independent study in the relevant discipline and must be closely linked to the issue(s) addressed in 3830. For example, a student may provide services to the elderly in nursing homes and use 3831 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 3831. 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: 3831. [1-3] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 3831. Service Learning Research and Readings. Under faculty supervision, students will design a program of community service associated with a set of learning objectives. The service component (3830) 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 – 3831 – will consist of an independent study in the relevant discipline and must be closely linked to the issue(s) addressed in 3830. For example, a student may provide services to the elderly in nursing homes and use 3831 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. Students will write a substantial research or interpretative paper under the supervision of a Vanderbilt faculty member on a topic related to their service learning experience. Corequisite: 3830. [1-3] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 3850. Independent Study. 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 3880. Internship Training. 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 3880, and 6 hours in 3881. (2) Part-time: 2-9 hours total, including 1-6 hours in 3880 and 1-3 hours in 3881. 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 3881. These hours shall not be included in the minimum hours required for the MHS major or minor. Corequisite: 3881. [Variable credit: 1-9] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 3881. Internship Readings and Research. 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 3880, and 6 hours in 3881. (2) Part-time: 2-9 hours total, including 1-6 hours in 3880 and 1-3 hours in 3881. 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: 3880. [Variable credit: 1-6] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 3890. Special Topics. May be repeated for credit twice if there is no duplication in topic. Students may enroll in more than one section of this course each semester. [1-3; maximum of 9 credits total for all semesters of MHS 3890] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 4010. Psychiatry, Culture, and Globalization. Cross-cultural analysis of mental illness; the emergence of cultural psychiatry; and the globalization of biopsychiatry and neuroscience. [3] (P)

MHS 4050. Narrative and Medicine: Stories of Illness and the Doctor-Patient Relationship. Use of classical and contemporary illness narratives to understand the doctor-patient relationship. Focus on patient stories in clinical settings. [3] (HCA)

MHS 4998. Honors Research. Offered on a graded basis only. Limited to seniors admitted to the departmental honors program. [3] (No AXLE credit)

MHS 4999. Honors Thesis. Offered on a graded basis only. Limited to seniors admitted to the departmental honors program. [3] (No AXLE credit)

 

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