About this Course

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Subtitles: English

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1 hour to complete

Introduction to the course “Bridging health care and society”

1 video (Total 4 min), 2 readings
2 readings
About the universities10m
About the authors10m
3 hours to complete

Module 1. Why bridging?

During the last two centuries modern medicine has gained the role of being a key social institution. Advances in science have enriched medical practice with evidence of the causes and consequences of different diseases and have provided algorithms for effective forms of treatment. Health care has evolved and made impressive gains in protecting the wellbeing of individuals and society. However, there is a number of problems that contemporary healthcare faces. Divergent priorities, understandings, and preferences between patients and healthcare practitioners can result in ineffective treatment, or worse, in health impairments. Lack of responsiveness by healthcare systems to everyday life and the needs of individuals they serve can result in an unequal access to health services by some population groups. These problems are the results of disjunctions between healthcare and patients, and in a broader scope, between medicine and society. This module highlights the importance of understanding such disjunctions and analyzing their roots and consequences. Learners will take a journey through the history of modern medicine and healthcare to explore how they have acquired their prominent characteristics of scientification and professionalization, expressed in a tendency of reducing a disease to a biological phenomenon while often not recognizing the personalities of patients and their cultures, beliefs and environments. During this module, we will focus on the reasons why these characteristics of patients and population groups are important for health provision and public health practices.

5 videos (Total 28 min), 1 reading, 5 quizzes
5 videos
1.2. Case - Professionalization of medicine and quality of care2m
1.3. Standardizing healthcare practice10m
1.4 Case - Standardization and individual approach3m
1.5 Review1m
1 reading
5 practice exercises
Professionalization of medicine8m
Assessment 1. Professionalisation of medicine and quality of care15m
Standardizing healthcare practice6m
The medicalization of life2m
Assessment 2. Standardization and individual approach15m
5 hours to complete

Module 2. Bridging healthcare professionals and patients

Social roles of doctor and patient, as well as relations between them, are dramatically changing in contemporary societies in the context of rapid technological shifts and scientific advancements, the commercialization of medicine, and the introduction of the idea of wider public engagement in healthcare provision. During the second module of the course we will delve into these complexities in order to understand the perspectives of medical professionals and their patients, discrepancies between their mutual expectations, and ways through which trustful cooperation can be built. We will consider the key social science approaches to understanding doctors’ professional role and construction of authority. We will also investigate challenges to this authority that emerge in the context of contemporary transformations of medical institution. Particular attention will be paid to issues of patient choice and control in healthcare, and strategies through which patients approach medical services and establish trust in relations with healthcare professionals. Module 2 aims to delineate disjunctures between healthcare professionals and patients, and to offer possible ways to bridge perspectives of these two groups.

5 videos (Total 20 min), 3 readings, 7 quizzes
5 videos
2.2. Construction of medical authority6m
2.3. Contemporary challenges to medical profession4m
2.4. Lay perspectives and lay expertise in medicine4m
2.5. Review1m
3 readings
About Part 2.2m
Trust in healthcare encounters15m
Adherence in medical encounters1h 30m
6 practice exercises
Construction of medical authority4m
Contemporary challenges to medical profession2m
Lay perspectives and lay expertise in medicine2m
Assessment 1. Medical professionals and patients15m
Trust in healthcare encounters2m
Adherence in medical encounters2m
4 hours to complete

Module 3. Bridging healthcare services and population groups

Healthcare systems are established in many countries to ensure that individuals are able to obtain health services when illness strikes and that they have access to effective interventions to prevent or reduce risk of disease and disability. Yet, often we observe a disjuncture between healthcare and the population groups it is meant to serve, which results in problems with access to health care even where the necessary services are seemingly in place. Module 3 examines various kinds of barriers between population groups, their health, and healthcare and suggests ways to bridge the divide through linking social analysis with healthcare services provision for development of services adapted to the people’s needs, lifestyles, and circumstances.

5 videos (Total 24 min), 3 readings, 5 quizzes
5 videos
3.2. How to understand access to healthcare?8m
3.3. Barriers to healthcare5m
3.4. Resocializing health care6m
3.5. Review1m
3 readings
Reading Healthcare-seeking behavior1h
Case Disparities in health care1h
Case Cervical cancer screening10m
5 practice exercises
Healthcare-seeking behavior2m
How to understand access to healthcare?4m
Barriers to healthcare4m
Resocializing health care2m
Assessment. Case - Cervical cancer screening30m
5 hours to complete

Module 4. Bridging public health and public

The notion of public health appears to be intrinsically connected to the public domain. Yet, it appears that with increasing scientification and professionalization of public health over the course of past decades a gap between public health and public has been widening, rather than the other way around. During the last module of this course we will explore the reasons for these developments. Over the course of these last decades, public health has, firstly, expanded considerably, now covering ‘everything from eating, drinking and exercise to sleep, sex and work and addressing lifestyle from before conception right into extreme old age’, in the words of Klasien Horstman. Secondly, public health is increasingly invested in scientifically-based prevention, assuming that evidence-based interventions will turn risk behavior into healthy behavior and framing public health problems, largely, as technical problems which have to be solved through scientific expertise. This module traces the evolution of public health approaches and the rise of contemporary disjunctures between these approaches and the public they target. We see that in daily life people have their own ideas of risk and safety, have to deal with multiple other issues (such as supporting their families and adhering to their notions of the leading a good life), and operate within their unique contexts at specific rhythms. Consequently, the public often does not respond to public health interventions as expected. This module explores ways to bring the public back into public health and bridge the disjunctures demonstrated.

6 videos (Total 23 min), 2 readings, 6 quizzes
6 videos
4.2. The rise of the notion of risk in public health4m
4.3. Politics of health promotion 1. Ottawa charter and the new health promotion3m
4.4. Politics of health promotion 2. The new health promotion in the neoliberal climate3m
4.5. Guest lecture by prof Klasien Horstman “Making health public”9m
4.6. Review1m
2 readings
Good evidence for public health1h
Case - Mixed media project Bianca1h
5 practice exercises
The notion of risk in public health2m
Good evidence for public health2m
Ottawa charter and the new health promotion4m
The new health promotion in the neoliberal climate2m
Assessment. Case - Mixed media project Bianca15m



Olga Zvonareva

Assistant Professor Health, Ethics and Society
Maastricht University

Olena Ignaschuk

Associate Professor
Department of Social Medicine and Public Health Services of National Pirogov Memorial Medical University

About National Research Tomsk State University

National Research Tomsk State University is the largest classical university in the Asian part of Russia. For over 135 years TSU has been training the scientific and managerial elite, based on the integration of academic process and fundamental scientific research. It is a renowned center of education, science, innovations and attraction for creative talents, a generator of advanced ideas, and a paragon of adherence to the best traditions of Russian higher education. There are 23 departments and learning institutes, 1 University branch, Institute of Distance Education, Institute of Innovations in Education operating at TSU, and more than 17,000 students studying at the University, with 135 subject areas and specialties to choose from. TSU offers 136 Master’s programmes in 55 areas of academic studies and counting. The number of international students is constantly increasing, now with more than 1300 TSU students coming from countries such as the USA, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Italy, Poland, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Korea, Columbia, Turkey and others....

Frequently Asked Questions

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