Many health professions programs require or strongly recommend courses and experiences which develop competencies in the areas of ethics, interpersonal (and intrapersonal) communication, and cultural awareness. These competencies help you build strong working relationships with colleagues, community members, patients, and families who may come from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, ability status, sexual orientation, age, religious, and other backgrounds from your own. It is important to understand the cultural context in which you will conduct your professional practice.
Political, historical, and cultural processes all play a significant role in healthcare practice. In fact, demonstrating a level of understanding about these topics before you begin your health professional program will be expected, and you’ll be evaluated about these aspects via interviews. Consider taking advantage of the academic strength here at U-M and LSA.
In particular, use part of your education to explore health, illness, and medicine. Some (but not all) of the courses that talk about health and illness are listed here:
AMCULT 331: Health in America: Patterns, Experiences, and Inequalities
ANTHRCUL 344: Medical Anthropology
HISTORY 234: History of Medicine in the Western World from the 18th Century to the Present
HISTORY 284: Sickness and Health in Society: 1492 to the Present
PHIL 356: Issues in Bioethics
PUBHLTH 300: Behavioral and Social Science Foundations for the Health Professions (non-LSA)
SOC 302: Health and Society: An Introduction to Sociology
SOC 475: Introduction to Medical Sociology
SOC 746: Sociology of Bioethics
WOMENSTD 220: Perspectives in Women’s Health
If you would like to learn more about developing competency in your specific pre-health path, here are resources and information to support you: