Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the social factors that impact individual and population health. The course presents students with theories and evidence supporting multiple underlying determinants of health in populations. We consider how health is affected by a variety of determinants, and we will explore how social influences affect population health. Social influences include socioeconomic status, environment, policy, gender, race, sexual orientation, and neighborhood quality. We examine structural factors that impact population health in the United States, and we explore the potential for structural interventions to address health inequities and improve population health outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

Students will be encouraged to consider how they can make a difference in reducing or closing the health inequality gap that otherwise results from poor understandings of patients’ health ecologies.  Through a range of case studies, students will gain a better understanding of health inequalities and social determinants of health. Students will be able to articulate their potential to have a positive impact on the health of the populations they treat.

  • Describe the types of social determinants of health and how each can impact health outcomes;
  • Explore the relationship between social determinants of health and health disparities;
  • Identify social determinants of health when working with people and communities; and
  • Describe how individuals, health systems, and communities can address social determinants of health to improve outcomes and health equity.

Textbook Information

There is a required textbook for PBHL 402 that can be purchased through FAES or on your own. The name of the book is: The Social Determinant of Health Looking Upstream, 1st ed. The fee for the book is $73.00. If you would like to purchase the book through FAES, please register for the section that includes the book. Upon receipt of payment and fulfillment of your book order, your book can be picked up at the FAES Bookstore in Building 10 on the NIH campus in Bethesda.

If you are unable to pick up the book at the FAES bookstore and would like the book mailed to you, please contact FAES at (301) 496-7976 or registrar@faes.org. There is a $10 charge for mailing the book.

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