COURSE OFFERINGS

Below is a list of courses we have offered:


Comparative Analysis of U.S. & International Health Care Systems
(2 credit hours)
The course examines health systems from a global perspective. The primary goal of the course is to enable students entering or working within a health care system to describe the parts of systems and their interactions, the environment in which the systems exist, and the internal and external forces, and points of leverage that create opportunities for change. Although health systems vary widely in their structure and performance, there is substantial similarity in the issues they face. Differences between systems are often a matter of degree. The course addresses health systems from a system improvement perspective, and focuses on health systems analysis and evaluation, and health system reform. The course examines metrics used to evaluate health systems and the various components of health systems, including financing mechanisms, payment schemes, workforce, and the organization of health care organizations.

Introduction to Epidemiology/Biostatistics
Epidemiology: The overall purpose of this course is to introduce students to epidemiology so that they may understand how epidemiology contributes to: 1) identifying factors that cause diseases, 2) assessing the importance of diseases, 3) describing the natural history of diseases, and 4) evaluating procedures for preventing diseases. After completing this course, students should be able to understand the basic concepts, methods, and nomenclature of epidemiology, and the application of concepts and methods to current health problems. (1 credit hour)

Biostatistics: This course enables students to learn and apply basic principles and methodologies of statistical analysis. Students will gain insight into statistical reasoning, decision- making process, and scientific protocol applicable to the innovative health care delivery systems. Additionally, this course will apply descriptive techniques commonly used to summarize data; distinguish among the different measurement scales and the implications for selection of statistical methods to be used based on these distinctions; describe basic concepts of probability, random variation, and commonly used statistical probability distribution; and specify preferred methodological alternatives to commonly used statistical methods when assumptions are not met. (1 credit hour)

Health Policy and Law (1 credit hour)
The theme of this course will be to focus on the complex integration of legislation, politics, finance, ethics, international awareness, and current events; in relation to the impact that each element has on the development and implementation of health policy, the conduct of research, and the delivery of healthcare in the United States.

Health Economics (2 credit hours)
This course provides a basic understanding of economic principles and methodology; it explains how economic principles and methodology apply to health policy. It explains the fundamental problems of economics and the unique aspects of the healthcare economy, and discusses key policy issues that economics, particularly microeconomics, helps to analyze and explain.

Introduction to Social Epidemiology (1 credit hour)
This course provides a basic understanding of the socioeconomic and behavioral determinants of population and individual health and their distribution in the geo-space. It provides some history of the study of this relationship between population and individual health and place.

Environmental Health Policy (1 credit hour)
Environmental health policy occupies a prominent position on both local and global agendas as old and new challenges confront the human race. There is a continual requirement for policies that will deal effectively with a seemingly never-ending supply of hazards, which impinge on health and wellbeing. This course provides a multidisciplinary window into environmental policy and its formulation.

Health Care Policy in the Genome Era (1 credit hour)
Health Care Policy in the Genome Era is a seminar style course that will examine the policy issues that arise due to, or are influenced by, our increasing understanding of the content, complexity and applications of our human DNA sequence. Participants will get a broad grasp of health policy areas currently or potentially influenced by genetic technologies followed by more in- depth examination of particular areas as selected by the class. Discussions will include what we, as a society, have done in the past, what we are doing now, and where we may go next.

Contemporary Ethical Issues in Health Policy (1 credit hour)
Contemporary Ethical Issues in Health Policy/Bioethics in Health is a seminar style course that will examine ethical issues arising from implemented health policies, and the role of ethics in determining health policies.

Social Dynamics of Mental Health (3 credit hours)
This course will investigate the major sociological issues and research findings in mental health and illness. The objective will be to better understand the social factors that determine the onset of mental illness as well as societal attitudes, behaviors and norms regarding those who are mentally ill. The course will be a combination of lecture and discussion.

The Challenges in Measuring Health Disparities: Politics, Policy and Methods (2 credits hours)
This course will discuss methodological issues around measuring health disparities and the costs of disparities, as well as the policy implications of this research. The course will address questions such as what is a disparity, how do investigators measure it, what are the data collection challenges, how have researchers overcome data and measurement problems, what is the impact of disparities, what are the kinds of policy strategies that are needed to address them, and how can researchers, advocates, and policymakers collaborate to build support for policy implementation.

Race, Ethnicity and Health (2 credits hours)
Fundamental to this course is the recognition of race and ethnicity as primary social determinants of health in the United States. The primary aim then is to explore the myriad social and behavioral factors that might underlie the associations among race, ethnicity, and health status outcomes. Because research designed to address this issue remains in its formative stages, the focus of the class will be: 1) To investigate state-of-the- science conceptual and methodological approaches to understanding social and behavioral determinants of health disparities; 2) To critically examine the fundamental scientific assumptions underlying health disparities research in an effort to better design future empirical approaches; 3) To characterize the potential intervention, prevention, treatment, and policy implications resulting from findings in the health disparities literatures.

Comparative Analysis of U.S. and International Health Care Systems (2 credits hours)
This course examines health systems from a global perspective. The primary goal of this course is to enable students entering or working within a health care system to describe the parts of systems and their interactions, the environment in which the systems exist, and the internal and external forces, and points of leverage that create opportunities for change. Although health systems vary widely in their structure and performance, there is substantial similarity in the issues they face. This course addresses health systems from a system improvement perspective, and focuses on health systems analysis and evaluation, and health system reform. This course examines metrics used to evaluate health systems and the various components of health systems, including financing mechanisms, payment schemes, workforce, and the organization of health care organizations.

Achieving Health Equity: Frameworks, Data Tools, and Policy Interventions (3 credits hours)
This course equips students with frameworks, data tools, and policy interventions to name, measure, and address the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation. Lessons learned from understanding racism as a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value are generalized to provide understanding of other systems of structured inequity, including sexism, capitalism, nativism, and heterosexism.

Health Policy and Society (3 credit hours)
This course explores the intersection of societal change with health policy. The course incorporates numerous sociological theories (e.g., conflict, symbolic interaction, structural functionalism, etc.) to provide students with an introduction of health policy from societal standpoint. Students will become aware of the complexities of health policies and how it is oftentimes shaped by social change. This course is structured as a seminar. However, students will be actively engaged in discussions of relevant topics.

Health Policy & Society II (3 credit hours)
This course is a continuation of Health Policy & Society I. The course delves deeper into the intersection of societal changes in health policy incorporating sociological theories (e.g., conflict, symbolic interaction, structural functionalism, etc.) to provide students with a look at health policy from sociological perspectives. Students will study and explore the complexities of health policies and how they oftentimes shaped and influenced by social changes. This course is structured as a seminar. However, students will be actively engaged in discussions of relevant topics.

National Scholars' Current Issues in Health Policy Lecture Series(Required, but not offered for credit)
This course is designed to provide opportunities for students to be engaged by known health policy professionals and analysts. These renowned individuals will present seminars on contemporary health policy issues.

Health Disparities & Health Policy (3 credit hours)
This course will examine the challenges and methods in the implementation of health disparities research and interventions. It is intended to both complement and expand the knowledge gained in other courses by focusing specifically on minority/underserved populations. The course will explore readings and foster discussions that will include: ethics and research in minority/ underserved communities; issues, barriers and facilitators to engaging minority/underserved communities in health research; examining basic research questions in minority health; understanding the application of research findings to program development; how to integrate theory and research, and issues and challenges of program implementation. An overarching goal is to increase awareness and knowledge of research on minority health, as well as unique issues to consider when engaging in public health research and practice in these communities.


Summer Institute on Health Policy (2 credit hours)
The Summer Institute on Health Policy consists of two weeks of intensive, accelerated coursework on topics related to health policy and the social sciences taught by an impressive lineup of nationally-renowned health policy scholars within the disciplines of economics, political science, and sociology. It consists of two new course electives for the entire Meharry student community as well as for students of other institutions. Students will receive 2 credit hours per course toward the completion of their degree programs in the Medical, Dental, and Graduate Schools at MMC. The Summer Institute on Health Policy begins in June and lasts for two weeks. Each course meets for one week only. Registration is open to all students (and faculty) interested in health policy.