H210: Understanding our own healthcare experience

The course Steph and I are creating is the hybrid offering of our program’s introductory course – H210 (Introduction to the U.S. Healthcare System).   This is a course that is already offered in multiple formats – ecampus, residential, and one week summer intensive. The residential version of the class has 85-120 students each term who are mostly sophomores/juniors who have elected public health as a major as well as a number of pre-nursing/pharmacy/med students and a handful of business or human development and family studies students. (The class is also a bac core course.)   We expect to transition all of the residential offerings to hybrid and the class will meet in person once per week for 80 minutes.

We are envisioning leveraging the hybrid format to get the students engaged outside of class, not just reading and watching videos but observing the healthcare industry and interviewing participants in the system (at least more regularly than they are currently). Everyone knows something about the healthcare system as we all interact with it as patients and I think one important goal for the class is to help place individual experiences in context – helping students understand why they need to sign the HIPPA form, why the bills from healthcare providers so often wrong the first time, why is it apparently so difficult for doctors to talk to one another? To get there, we plan to use the in class time primarily for setting up out of class work and then debriefing it —

  • In class – introduce the sector of the healthcare system or topic for the coming week and provide any skill building (observational or interviewing skills.)
  • Out of class – detailed readings and/or videos on the healthcare system organization and exercises that include:
    • Reflections on videos exploring particular challenges in the system
    • Observing a component of the healthcare delivery/financing system and reflecting on that experience
    • Group work developing guides for fellow students, etc.
  • In class – debrief the out of class experiences and use that to discuss challenges/opportunities and wrap up the topic.   In an ideal world, we would like to debrief in small groups but given the class size, will more likely use the submitted assignments to identify common themes to support our in class discussions and ask some  students to share their observations/experiences with the class.

We are thinking of conducting quizzes/exams both in and out of class.

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