INTR 150
Dimensions of Public Health Spring 2010
Division II
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Class Details

Public health is concerned with protecting and improving health at the level of a community or population. Although individual behavior is an essential element of public health, collective, rather than individual, outcomes are the focus of public health study. The field of public health relies on contributions from multiple disciplines, including economics, philosophy, biology, sociology and political science, among others. In this course we will survey the field of public health, introducing students to core concepts and methods that highlight the interrelationship of individual and social choice with environmental and biological factors in producing health outcomes at the population level. We will develop these concepts and methods within the context of signal cases and public health crises, both historical and contemporary, including, for example, London’s Broad Street cholera epidemic, tuberculosis control/eradication efforts, HIV/AIDS, lead poisoning, and obesity. Throughout our study of these cases, we will focus on key questions at the heart of public health. For example, what is effective public health policy and how can we measure its effectiveness? How do we reconcile competing moral and economic claims in shaping such policy? How do our fundamental beliefs and understanding of mortality determine our approach to public health decisions? How are these decisions made?
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 3263
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based upon five mid-length papers (5-7 pages each) and the quality of contributions to class discussion
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students and sophomores
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: INST Global Health Studies Electives
PHLH Core Courses

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