Social Sciences & Medicine

General Course Information

Course Lecturer Name(s):  Damian E. Greaves

Course Director Name: N/A

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information: ; Tel. Ext. 3653

Course Director Contact Information:  N/A

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours:  Tues.&Thurs:10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. ;Fri: 1:00 p.m.- 4:0 p.m.

Course Director Office Hours: N/A

Course Lecturer(s) Office Location:  Ballsier Building, Upper Floor

Course Director Office Location: N/A

 Course Support: Nikisha Thomas:; 6392

Course Management tool: To learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: 

This course examines the social aspects of health and illness and is particularly relevant to current political controversies related to health care policies of various nations and regions. It intends to introduce students to the systematic study of illness, health, medicine and medical treatments through the use of sociological perspectives. Throughout the semester, we will attempt to obtain a deeper understanding of the social reaction to and interaction with illness, disease and wellness. At the micro-, meso- and macro-level approaches we will dissect and deconstruct the various manifestations of health and illness that exist on a mutually reliant continuum between the individual and health care systems. The course will also compare systems of health care to broaden students’ understanding of social and political factors which relate to accessibility, quality, and cost of services and treatments.

Course Objectives: 

  1. Students should understand the discipline of social sciences, its basic concepts and its role in contributing to our understanding of health, illness and healthcare.
  2. Students should analyze regional and global diversity issues and inequalities in health, illness and health care
  3. Students should produce research on a health-related issue from multiple perspectives and create written work that expresses their findings.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Outline the relevance of social science disciplines to medicine and health.
  2. Discuss current events related to medicine and health care
  3. Analyze the significance of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class and nationality to health care accessibility, cost and quality of care, and the outcomes of care.
  4. Students will produce written research papers to examine health care issues from multiple perspectives.

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

Students should be able to:

SOC – PO-1 Apply classical and contemporary sociological perspectives to explain complex social issues and problems; particularly, Caribbean social reality

SOC – PO -2 Demonstrate their critical thinking skills to sociological analysis.

SOC – PO -3 Employ sociological research methods to investigate and explain social issues

SAS Grading Scale: Grades will be assigned as follows:

A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 64.4% or less

Course Materials:

Text: The Sociology of Health, Illness, and Health Care: A Critical Approach by Rose Weitz, (5th edition).

Medical Sociology by William C. Cockerham, (10th edition)

Supplementary Readings/Resources: Journal articles, videos and other relevant material provided during the course of the semester

Course Grading Requirement:  

Evaluation Criteria

Deadline for Submission  

Percentage of Grade

Forum Discussion 1

Feb. 9th.


Midterm Reaction Paper 1 

March 2nd


Group E-Poster Presentations

April 27th


Group Policy Paper

April  29th


Attendance & Participation






Course Requirements:

Mandatory attendance and participation in classes and completion of all class assignments

Course Schedule








Mon 17th- 19th

Welcome – Syllabus, Outline of the course, Policies & Procedures; Team Building Introduction




Mon 24th 

What is sociology of health & illness and why study it?



Wed. 26th

Contributions of the social sciences to health & medicine Weitz: pages 3-8

Weitz: Chapters 3&4





 Mon. 31st

Social Construction of Health & Illness


 Wed. 5th

Health Inequalities and Inequities

 Case Study Analysis/Discussion



Wed.  2nd



Mon 7th

Health Social Movements Weitz: Chapter 6:



Wed 9th

Complementary & Alternative Medicine




 Module Three: Health, Medicine and the Environment



Mon 14st

The Development of Scientific Medicine

Wed 16th

Introduction to Environmental Health



Mon 21st

Module Four: Health Systems Health Systems -The Building Blocks


Wed 23rd

Health System Governance and Leadership


Mon 28th

Module Five :  Health Policy Public Policy for the Public’s Health






Health in All Policies


Mon. 7th


 March 7th -11th



Mon. 14th

Universal Health Care


Wed. 16th

  Veterinary Health & Medicine



Module Six -The Patient


Mon 21st

Cultural Competency and Sensitivity Issues in Bioethics


Wed 23rd

Primary Care: Putting People First


Mon 28th 

Patient Centered - Care


 Wed 30tj

Physician/Patient Relationship



Mon. 4th 

Integrating Health & Social Services



Module Seven -   Physicians & The Profession of Medicine



Wed. 6th


The Profession of Medicine




Medical Professional Dominance



Medicine as Social Control


Mon 18th 

Physician Satisfaction & Dissatisfaction


Wed 20th 

Consultation on Group Policy Papers


Mon 25th 

Poster Presentation Consultation


Wed 27th 

Team Presentations


MAY 2nd – 6th 

May 2nd -6th – Final Exams


No exams in this course

School of Arts and Sciences Master Syllabi — Info for All Sections

Plagiarism Policy

Academic Integrity

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Plagiarism is regarded as a cardinal offense in academia because it constitutes theft of the work of someone else, which is then purported as the original work of the plagiarist. Plagiarism draws into disrepute the credibility of the Institution, its faculty, and students; therefore, it is not tolerated” (p. 48).

Plagiarism also includes the unintentional copying or false accreditation of work, so double check your assignments BEFORE you hand them in.

Be sure to do good, honest work, credit your sources and reference accordingly and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with very seriously following the university’s policies on Plagiarism as outlined in the Student Manual.

Your work may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software, submission to this system means that your work automatically becomes part of that database and can be compared with the work of your classmates.

Attendance Requirement

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Students are expected to attend all classes and or clinical rotations for which they have registered. Although attendance may not be recorded at every academic activity, attendance may be taken randomly. Students’ absence may adversely affect their academic status as specified in the grading policy. If absence from individual classes, examinations, and activities, or from the University itself is anticipated, or occurs spontaneously due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, proper notification procedures must be followed. A particular course may define additional policies regarding specific attendance or participation” (p. 9).

Examination Attendance

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

All matriculated students are expected to attend all assigned academic activities for each course currently registered. Medical excuses will be based on self-reporting by students. Students who feel they are too sick to take an examination or other required activity on a specific day must submit the online SAS medical excuse, which is available on Carenage. Students are only allowed two such excuses a year. Upon consultation with the Director of University Health Service, the third excuse will result in a mandatory medical leave of absence. The policies regarding make-up examinations are at the option of the Course Director” (p.46).

For additional specific examination policies and procedures, refer to the St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020), pages 31 through 37.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Policy

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

A student with a disability or disabling condition that affects one or more major life activities, who would like to request an accommodation, must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation to the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) located in the Dean of Students Office. It is highly recommended that students applying for accommodations do so at least one month before classes begin to allow for a more efficient and timely consideration of the request. If a fully completed application is not submitted in a timely fashion, an eligibility determination may not be made, and accommodations, where applicable, may not be granted prior to the commencement of classes and/or examinations” (p. 8).


It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the policies, laws, rules and procedures that while they could affect your grade for a course, have not been specifically outlined in the course syllabus. These are contained in the St. George’s University Student Manual.