Medicine and Global Health

8 Credit Hours

This track exposes students to the overarching problem of how mind and body are conceived under different intellectual lenses. Students are enrolled in Spanish 460, a course dealing with the circulation of medical discourse, and how the concepts of health and illness shape Argentine society and its institutions. In-class instruction is complemented with visits to hospitals, clinics, as well as public and private health agencies.

Students also take Spanish 385, where they learn about the daily practice of medicine in Argentina by means of theoretical class sessions and hands-on experiences taking place in various medical institutions in Buenos Aires and its surroundings. This course engages students in class discussions focused on social, economic and political issues that influence Argentina's current vision of global health. Classes deal with basic concepts of internal medicine, anatomy, physiology, prevalent diseases in the region, and the history of the health sciences in Argentina. Students are also introduced to the most current literature that addresses the clash between social, political, and financial interests that have been shaping health care public policy in Argentina since the inception of the welfare state in 1945. As part of this seminar, Argentine physicians guide students in the application of those theoretical principles under real-life conditions, via interactive experiences with medical school residents and patients of public and private medical institutions across the city of Buenos Aires.

While in-class instruction is of the essence, a student's full comprehension of how differing understandings of mind and body may occur requires exposure to the local conditions in which these ideas circulate. To fulfill this end, afternoons are devoted to Spanish 319, a series of cultural activities in which students have first-hand access to the myriad of political, social, and cultural manifestations going on in the city of Buenos Aires. In taking these three classes together, students learn about the cultural and social conditions of the city that intersect on a daily basis with approaches to the problem of mental and physical health, frequently influenced by the role that the State takes on in steering public health care policy-making across the country.

In acquiring an overarching exposure to the inner workings of the field of medicine and psychoanalysis in one of the foremost urban centers of Latin America, students learn how Argentine professionals are trained to examine mental and physical ailments. Furthermore, and most fundamentally, these experiences help students garner a heightened cultural and professional awareness that will furnish their intellectual profile with a distinctive set of qualities. These are the critical and practical skills that will set students apart in their future careers as health care professionals in the context of emerging challenges and demands posed by an increasingly globalized world.

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