Courses/Minor

Below is a list of medical humanities courses taught at Western Michigan University. The Medical Humanities Workgroup administers an interdisciplinary minor that draws from these courses:

Anthropology | Biological Sciences | Blindness and Low Vision StudiesCommunicationFamily and Consumer Sciences | Finance | Gerontology | HistoryHolisticsHealth, Physical Education, and Recreation | Interdisciplinary Health Services | Law | Medical Science | Music | Nursing | Occupational Therapy | Public Affairs and Administration | Philosophy | Psychology | Sociology | Social Work

ANTH 3120 – Medicine and Culture

This course takes an Anthropological approach to the study of illness and healing and provides a broad introduction to the field of medical anthropology. Included in this course are discussions of the various anthropological approaches to understanding illness and disease, with a particular focus on the ways in which culture impacts on how illness is understood and experienced both cross-culturally and in the United States. Special areas of interest may include ethnomedicine, the intersection of biomedicine and other healing systems, the impacts of inequality on health and health care, and the study of biomedicine as a cultural system.

ANTH 5250 – Spirits and Medicine

This course explores how healing is linked to belief and in turn how beliefs about well-being, illness, and treatment are culturally prefigured. Students will examine healing practices in the United States and cross-culturally as they related to belief and consciousness, including western medicine and alternatives, spirit possession and trance, and methods of divination.

ANTH 5310 – Medical Anthropology

This course starts with the premise that illness is as much a cultural as it is a biological phenomena and explores the ways in which different societies, including our own, perceive and manage illness and disease. The primary focus of the course is to understand the intersection of cultural, social, and political variables in the experience of illness and the practices associated with healing. Specific topics include: ethnomedicine, spiritual healing, primary health care in the developing world, the symbolism of modern medicine, the political economy of health care and AIDS, and inequality.

BIOS 5620 – Bioethics

Bioethics seeks to help students reflect intelligently upon and discuss the nature of modern biology as a science and its impact upon our social and governmental discourse. This occurs through classroom and web based discussions of methods and techniques relevant to applications of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Ethics. We focus on issues that rarely are discussed for fear of offending someone. This includes, but is not limited to, euthanasia, abortion, intelligent design, organ transplants, stem cells, and gene therapy. Students learn to appreciate the complexity of bioethical issues and the enormity of the responsibility they will carry while providing an unbiased view to the public.

BLS 5890 – Medical and Functional Aspects of Disability

This course presents an interdisciplinary approach to the study of multi-handicapping conditions in rehabilitation. It includes information on the major disabling conditions such as traumatic brain injury; orthopedic, neuromuscular, visual, learning, speech and hearing, cardiovascular, mental and emotional disabilities; and other select disabilities. Emphasis is placed upon cumulative effects of concomitant disabilities with additional emphasis on visual impairment.

COM 4840 – Health Communication

Studies concepts and theories relevant to the maintenance and enhancement of effective communication in health care settings. Emphasis is given to the study and application of communication theories, to the transactions which occur among health professionals, and between professionals and clients/patients. This course may be offered in an accelerated format.

FCS 2100 – Human Sexuality

A study of the bio-psychosocial factors of human sexuality, emphasizing an understanding of sexuality as a social construction. Topics include: reproduction and birth, family planning, and contraception; sexually transmitted infections; sexual responses and dysfunction; emotional and physical intimacy; the range of sexual values and behaviors; and legal, ethical, and public policy implications related to human sexuality.

FIN 6620 – Health Care Financial Management

This course deals with advanced financial management concepts affecting health care institutions. Working-capital management, capital-budgeting, and Medicare reimbursement programs are examined.

GRN 1000 – Introduction to Aging Studies

Introduction to the content associated with aging studies. Course elements include historical milestones in the development of aging as a subject of study; the aged as a special population; heterogeneity among older persons; the aging network; health systems; and health and allied health professions.

GRN 4000 – Public Policy and Aging

Explore the broad range of policies relating to older adults in the U.S. and the various demographic, economic and health determinants that shape these policies. Policy and its link to well-being of older adults and their families is discussed. A special focus will be given to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Older Americans Act.

GRN 5430 – Survey of Geriatric Medicine

This course provides an overview and survey of the care of the elderly patient from a medical perspective. The issues of medical problems, long-term care, nursing, rehabilitation, and the social considerations will be broadly discussed. In addition, the interaction of all of the issues of elderly care will be analyzed.

HIST 3230 – History of Healthcare in the United States

This course will explore changes in medical practice and healthcare in the United States from the 17th century to the present day. While focusing on the techniques of medical practice, the course will also consider the rights, laws, ethics, and politics relating to medicine in the United States.

HIST 3325 – History of Healthcare in the World

This course will have a special emphasis on the ways scientific knowledge of the human body, illness and wellness have changed over broad spans of time and in both Western and Non-Western cultures. Students will examine medical practices and ideas in cultures ranging from ancient Mesopotamia to colonial America.

HOL 4400 – Issues and Ethics in Holistic Health

This course provides an in-depth exploration of the key issues and ethics that arise when considering health at an individual, interpersonal, and global level. The course provides students with critical-thinking skills and decision-making skills in order to effectively assess scientific information in the field of holistic health. The course format includes lectures, small-group discussions of case examples, experiential exercises, and a final paper in which students apply the principles of holistic health to their major field of study.

HOL 5300 – Healing through Writing and Story

This course explores ways in which story and other forms of expressive language shape the experience of illness and healing. Students will examine literature and oral traditions as well as participate in writing activities to investigate the therapeutic impact of these forms of human expression. Students will be expected to demonstrate how the holistic perspective is applied to their personal lives and academic areas.

HOL 5340 – Holistic Health and Spirituality

This course helps students better understand the spiritual dimensions of each individual and the relationship of spirituality to the meaning of health. Various spiritual traditions, philosophies and practices will be explored with the primary emphasis on the implications of these teachings for everyday living. The course will address the role of spirituality in the therapeutic process for health care professionals and resources available for practitioners and educators. The format for the course will include lecture, discussion, experiential activities and audio/video presentations.

HOL 5500 – Introduction to Holism and Expressive Arts

This course is a survey of expressive arts therapies used to facilitate the healing process and will deepen the student’s understanding of the role of creative expression in health and healing. The use of arts therapies to promote health, reduce stress, and complement the traditional treatment of physical and mental illness will be discussed. Topics covered will be visual arts, sound/music, movement/dance, writing/poetry, and drama/psychodrama. The format for the course will be a combination of experiential creative activities, guest lectures, and video and audio presentations. No artistic experience or background required.

HOL 5510 – Holistic Approaches to Healing through Visual Art

This course introduces a holistic approach to the use of visual art in healing; how to choose and present appropriate art experiences; spontaneous and directed theme art activities, resources, and materials; guides for interpreting art; and ethics. A variety of activities such as drawing, painting, clay, sand tray, collage, mandalas, and masks will be explored. The format for the course is a combination of experiential activities, lectures, video, and slide presentations. The course is designed to give students and professionals in the counseling, social work, psychology, health care, occupational therapy, art, and other fields some practical tools and considerations for using art for health and healing with others or for personal growth. No artistic talent is required.  The format for the course will be a combination of lectures, discussion, experiential activities, and audio and video presentations. Students enrolled in social work, counseling psychology, occupational therapy, nursing, physical education, and dance will especially benefit from this course. No artistic experience or background required.

HOL 5530 – Holistic Strategies to Illness and End of Life

This course will examine holistic strategies and techniques designed to help people cope with illness along the continuum from diagnosis through the end-of-life. Topics will include: complementary methods that assist with treatment, surgery, medical procedures, pain management; guided imagery; psychosocial/spiritual considerations; being/supporting the caregiver, and death and dying. Students will pursue their individual interests in a project which will include assessment, research and recommendations of holistic modalities for a person dealing with a particular illness. This course is appropriate for professionals/students in health care and related fields and for individuals who are looking for assistance with their own illness or caring for a loved one.

HPER 1550 – Foundations of Health Education

This course will provide students with the philosophical background in the development and implementation of health education programs. Topics include: history and philosophy of health education/health promotion, health education settings, professional competencies, ethics, organizations and future issues.

HPER 3160 – Issues in Health Education

The course will focus on current health issues. May be designed to deal with one issue or several.

HPER 5100 – Modern Health for Teachers and Health Professionals

This course is designed for teachers and health professionals who have need of current knowledge in health science. The course surveys topics such as mental health, nutrition, substance abuse, physical fitness, chronic diseases, and stress management. Consideration is given to psychological, sociological and cultural factors that influence health improvement. Attention is given to special factors of health and illness of children and adolescents. This course is not open to health education majors and minors who have had HPER 1000, 2200, 2210. Professional Courses Open To Upperclass and Graduate Students (HPER).

HSV 4100 – Legal Issues in Health and Human Services

An overview of the law and its administration as it applies to the policies and procedures that are designed o improve and protect the health and social well-being of the population. The course will provide a survey of the basic concepts and content in the major areas of health and human service law, an explanation and identification of sources of legal authority and responsibility, and a familiarity with legal language.

HSV 4140 – Basic Principles and Organization of Health Planning

This course is an introduction to the principles and methods of planning in the health system. It includes a descriptive analysis of the significance of planning effective health care services, alternative planning frameworks, and technical approaches to the planning process. In addition, the course surveys the history of planning in the health systems as well as the current structure arrangements for carrying out planning in the health arena both at the macro and micro levels.

HSV 4810 – The Health System and Its Environment

This course provides a descriptive analysis of the organization of the health system. The student who participates can expect to gain an understanding of the structure of health services as well as the processes of operation of the service system and the ways in which consumers make use of the system. The analysis focuses on the interplay of forces within the system as well as behind the system and its environment.

HSV 4690 – AIDS/HIV: Perspective on an Epidemic

This course is intended to provide a historical perspective and introduction to the social, psychological, biological, political, economic, ethical, and medical implications of HIV infection and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The course will be team taught by faculty and others in a variety of fields.

HSV 4850 – Major Issues in Health and Human Services

Examines the major issues which influence health and human services and their delivery, including special population service provision, advocacy, patient/client-centered care, psycho-social aspects of disease and wellness, health promotion and education, quality and cost controls, and interdisciplinary team approaches to service delivery. The importance of services responsive to the needs of a diverse and multicultural population is also stressed. Students will receive instruction OSHA, Universal Precautions, CPR, and first aid.

LAW 6880 – Health Law Administration

The course provides a study of the law as it relates to the delivery of health care services. The cases, regulations and statutes in state and federal legal systems that affect the health care professional and institutions are examined. Legal concepts such as respondent superior, good Samaritan laws, informed consent, and confidentiality will be explored.

LAW 6890 – Legal Problems of Health Care Organizations

An analysis of the organization and structure of various health care entities. The Medicare reimbursement program, medical malpractice and risk avoidance concepts will be discussed. Laws affecting the maintenance and disclosure of medical records and organizational certificate of needs will be examined.

MDSC 2010 – Medical Terminology

The language of medicine-through an understanding of the Greek and Latin derivations and construction of medical terms, the student learns the vocabulary of the health-related professions.

MUS 2810 – Introduction to Music Therapy

An orientation to the discipline of music therapy via classroom lectures, video tape presentations, and clinical observations. This course should be taken following or concurrent with PSY 1000.

MUS 2890 – Music Therapy Activities for Children

This class will examine labels and categorizations involved in children populations, offer instruction in social-recreational instruments, allow for a more in-depth study of appropriate music materials and activities, and allow for experience in designing and implementing music therapy treatment procedures for individuals and groups. Class time will be primarily used for instruction with some selected help times to allow for more individualized instruction. Exams will be of a written, playing, and/or presentational format.

MUS 2900 – Music Therapy Activities for Adults

This class will examine labels and categorizations involved in adult populations, offer instruction in social-recreational instruments (e.g., guitar, ukulele, etc.), allow for a more in-depth study of appropriate music materials and activities and allow for experience in designing and implementing music therapy treatment procedures for individualized instruction. Exams will be of a written, playing and/or presentational format.

NUR 1020 – Introduction to the Profession of Nursing

This course will introduce students to the health care system and nursing’s role and responsibilities within the system. Students will explore the nursing code of ethics, licensure issues, and the functions and purposes of nursing’s national and international organizations.

NUR 2200 – Foundations of Nursing and Critical Thinking

During this course the student is socialized to the profession of nursing, including roles, responsibilities and dispositions. Topics covered are values, legal implications, standards and codes that inform nursing practice. Theoretical foundations of the nursing process are introduced. Health and illness systems are expanded upon.

NUR 2220 – Health Assessment Throughout the Lifespan

This course introduces the nursing student to the concepts and skills related to health assessment. It is designed to provide the student with an overview of the knowledge and skills needed to assess the health status of the individual from infancy through old age. Emphasis is placed on the assessment of physical, developmental, psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of the individual.

NUR 3220 – Health Care Ethics

This course is a didactic course that introduces students to principles and issues underlying and surrounding health care ethics. Content includes basic ethical theories, values, moral development, moral reasoning, and day-to-day ethical concerns. These concerns include, but are not limited to, genetics, end-of-life care and decision-making, moral reasoning, moral principles, research ethics, the interface between law and ethics, patient decision-making, rights, duties and obligations of the professional nurse and other health workers, professional codes and standards, and allocation of scarce resources. The course offers the learner an opportunity to develop, implement, and evaluate a variety of approaches to ethical concerns of the 21st century.

NUR 6300 – Ethics and Culture; Foundations for Leadership

This course draws upon the disciplines of philosophy, ethics, and the social sciences in examining key concepts of professional practice that form the foundations for leadership. The key concepts include professional obligations, duties, and rights and cultural competence. The course builds upon the ethical and cultural foundations in the undergraduate program and leads to an increased understanding of the relationships between socio-cultural contexts, ethics, and the health/illness beliefs and practices of individuals, families, and communities from diverse backgrounds. Key aspects of relationship based care and the promotion of a holistic approach to meeting the health and illness needs of diverse individuals, groups, and communities provide a common basis for exploring what it means to be a culturally competent, ethical health care professional and leader in health systems or education.

OT 4710 – Research in Health and Human Services

This course explores research in health related fields while developing research skills at the undergraduate level. It will include the principles of research design, analysis and critique of research, ethical research practices, and an introduction to and familiarity with proposal development and statistical analysis. Students will learn to use evidence-based practice in making clinical decisions.

OT 4780 – U.S. Policy in Health and Human Services

This course will allow the student to critically read, analyze, and understand current U.S. policy in health and human services and to understand how these policies affect specific people in the community. Students will write advocacy letters, explanations (at the appropriate level of understanding) and recommendations for potential revisions of current health policies.

PADM 6510 – Health Services Delivery

This course provides a comprehensive overview of health services delivery systems in the U.S. with an emphasis on access, cost, and quality of care. This course deals with various issues, including causes and characteristics of health services utilization, cost and financing of health services, providers of health services, different dimensions of quality of care, and different delivery systems from other countries.

PADM 6530 – Health Policy Analysis

This course examines the public policy process as applicable to the physical and mental health fields. The impact of federal, state, and local policy on the delivery of health services within organizations is discussed and compared with international health delivery systems. Underlying legal and ethical issues confronting today’s health delivery system are explored.

PHIL 3340 – Biomedical Ethics

In this course, the ethical principles (respect for autonomy, non maleficence, beneficence justice) and other ethical concerns (e.g. privacy, confidentiality, compassion, relationships among patients and professionals) are studied and applied to contemporary problems in medicine and biomedical research. These problems include genetic testing and therapy; organ transplantation; decision-making regarding treatment and care at the end of life; research involving human subjects; and treatment issues in the AIDS epidemic. Case study methods are used.

PHIL 4100 – Professional Ethics

A philosophical examination of the foundations of ethics in the professions. Topics to be considered include the professions and professionalism, relationships between professional and ordinary ethics, social responsibilities of the professions, professional/client relationships, regulation of the professions, and codes of ethics.

PHIL 5340 – Moral and Philosophical Foundations of Health Care

In this course philosophical reflection and biological science are combined in a critical examination of the nature and purpose of the health sciences. Topics to be considered include: the aims of the health sciences; the interplay of fact and value in health care; competing images of humankind embedded in health science; patient autonomy, dignity, and medical paternalism.

PHIL 5440 – Practical Ethics

This course will examine the relationships between ethical theory and practice, especially in the area of professional life. We will consider questions concerning moral imagination, deliberation, and justification, as well as how principles and norms guide our complex activities. Case illustrations from various professions (e.g., medicine, laws, government, science, psychiatry, etc.) will be used to highlight some of these issues. May be repeated for credit, with advisor’s approval, when topics vary.

PSY 4630 – Health Psychology

A behavior analysis approach to the management of behaviors directly and indirectly affecting health. Emphasis will be placed on out-patient, public health applications and preventive approaches in health maintenance.

SOC 3730 – Sociology of Health and Illness

Introduction to the concepts of health and illness in our society; ways of measuring disease; the impact of social class, race, religion, and ethnicity on the perception and distribution of disease. Attention will also be paid to the social structure of the health care delivery system and of alternative systems of medical care.

SOC 5150 – Sociology of Mental Illness

This course will be concerned with examining the contemporary meaning of concepts of mental health and mental illness. The course will also consider the amount and kind of mental illnesses (especially the differences by social class, age, gender, race, marital status, urban versus rural living, and migration), the structure of the mental health care delivery system, the nature of help-seeking for mental illness, and community care and public policy for mental illness.

SOC 6430 – Seminar in Medical Sociology

An advanced seminar in some specialized aspect of medical sociology.

SWRK 4230 – Ethics in Substance Abuse Treatment

The goal of this course is to lead students from an initial understanding of personal value based decision making into a concept of professional/public value based decision making, resulting eventually into the application of a model that is employed in the substance abuse field. In addition, this course will specifically address ethical and legal issues, as well as professional standards that are to be adhered to while working with this population.