Spanish 385: Medicine and Global Health in Argentina

Cross listed with HLTH 385. 3 credits. HAL. Credits applicable towards Human Health major and Global Health minor.

Professionals who commit their lives to practicing a profession in areas related to the health sciences recognize that the relationship between caregiver and patient must rely on mutual respect and understanding. Earning the patient’s trust and reaching an accurate diagnosis in a timely fashion depend primarily on such a relationship. In order to attain this goal, it is paramount to become familiarized with the language and culture of the people with whom we are going to interact. It is then imperative to master a host of critical skills in this area if we want to evaluate with efficacy the repercussions of our actions within a given cultural context.

In light of the specific know-how that the field of human health often requires, this course places a select group of Emory students in the most strategic fashion; that is, in the scenario that they will face in the real world after they complete their studies. Students take this course at the Sanatorio Finochietto, a leading health care institution devoted to primary care as well as vast array of medical specialties. An experienced physician whose specialty covers the field of infectious diseases, Dr. Paola Brunetti conducts hands-on, highly interactive class sessions in which students learn about the sharp contrasts that health care workers encounter in a country featuring a gamut ranging from of state-of-the-art technology in downtown Buenos Aires, to peripheral areas in which patients are unable to meet their basic needs.

In sum, this course invites students to enter the exciting process of becoming acquainted with the medical profession in Argentina as a point of entry into the field of global health across Hispanic cultures. Such an ambitious goal entails learning about the history of Argentine medicine, the most prevalent pathologies at a regional level, the various health care systems that coexist in the country, the technological resources available, the intervening financial and sociopolitical challenges, and the best practices employed in the relationship between physician and patient.

By becoming exposed to the different linguistic, social, political and cultural registers that come together with the practice of Argentine medicine, students will gain first hand access to the tools needed to become an active part in the versatile communication process that shapes Argentine health culture and its surrounding social and political networks.