This class has covered a lot of material about health, illness, disparity, and everything that connects them. I have thought at times that I wish there was more of a focus in the class, because scratching the surface on so many topics isn’t as rewarding as gaining a deeper understanding of a few. For example, I wish we had spent more time on HIV/AIDS than half a class. I did really enjoy the time we spent discussing transplantation, since it occurred over the course of a talk, a patient discussion, and a class discussion. I felt like I gained a vastly better understanding of the subject, which I would’ve liked to do with a few other topics. One of my recommendations would be to integrate more patient discussions and specific examples into the class, so there’s a more clear connection between the textbook and real life experiences for people.
As much as I do appreciate the value of talks and hearing from outside perspectives, some of the in-class talks didn’t always hold much value for me. The first one we had, where the wellness lady came in and basically just talked about how many calories different exercises burn, I found to be boring and uninformative. That would be a good one to cut. The second one we had with the really high energy guy was better, but I honestly wouldn’t be able articulate what he was trying to convey. The careers in health psychology discussion was probably helpful for a lot of people, so I definitely see the value in that in-class talk. Overall, my favorite was the professor who talked about his daughter’s transplantation. That one was really informative and tied together lots of things we’d previously covered. Honestly, I think I’d have preferred going to more interesting health psychology talks (even outside class) and spending time covering specific topics more thoroughly in class instead.
Although I do have a few ideas about how this class could be restructured a bit, I’ve learned a good deal from this class. I feel much more comfortable discussing how health is impacted by psychosocial factors just as much as it is by biological factors. I have a more clear understanding of the problems that contribute to health disparities, and how interventions may be more effectively designed to reduce those disparities. I think I’ll be able to use a lot of concepts from this class in how I approach med school and maybe even how I practice as a physician someday. I think I’ll certainly have a better ability to focus on comprehensive aspects of patient care, rather than merely addressing physical illnesses, because it’s so important to have an understanding of the biopsychosocial connectivity of wellness.