Social Science


SSCI 412: Social Science and Medicine

This course examines several aspects of medicine. First, it examines how the health care system is a social institution with norms and belief systems that may differ in other cultures. Second, the doctor-patient relationship is examined and the concepts of doctor communication, patient adherence, and compliance, in addition to types of health care delivery, are highlighted. Third, behavior and how it affects patient health is examined. Specifically, the course discusses stress, personality, drug and alcohol use, smoking, diet, and pain management as important factors contributing to a person's health. As fewer people die from infectious diseases and more people die from diseases (such as cancer) that may be prevented through a healthy lifestyle, understanding patients' lifestyles outside of the hospital becomes imperative. Overall, the course discusses health and illness within the biopsychosocial model that is replacing the biomedical model in medicine.