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Social Medicine Course


The EqualHealth Social Medicine Course, Beyond the Biological Basis of Disease, brings together health profession students from Haiti, North America, and around the world to share in an immersive three-week intellectual and cultural exchange focused on the principles of Social Medicine. 

Course overview

The course is designed for health profession students of all levels (including those studying medicine, nursing, midwifery, and public health), and links tropical medicine with social medicine teaching. The course will be taught in French. 


The course pedagogy includes field visits, classroom-based presentations and discussions, group reflections, student presentations, films, and bedside teaching. These approaches create an interactive learning environment where students participate as both learners and teachers. The goal is to advance the cohort’s understanding of interactions between the biology of disease and the social, cultural, economic, political, and historical factors that influence illness presentation and social experience.


The course emphasizes building partnerships and encourages students to reflect upon their own experiences with power, privilege, race, class, gender, and sexual orientation as central to effective partnership building in global health. In the spirit of praxis, a model of education that combines critical reflection with action, students are empowered to discern their role in global health and social medicine through facilitated, in-depth conversations with core faculty and student colleagues.


I. Beyond Biology: Social and Economic Causation of Disease
II. Global Health Interventions: Paradigms of Charity, Humanitarianism, and Structural Change
III. Social Justice in Healthcare: Models of Community-based Healthcare
IV. Health and Human Rights : the Healthcare Worker as Advocate
V. Effective Application of Global Health Experience: Writing, Photography, Research, and Political Engagement

In addition to founders and leaders from EqualHealth, faculty include practitioners, policy leaders, disease experts and colleagues from throughout Haiti and the US. Faculty engage and immerse with students enriching the training experience.


For international (non-Haitian) students, the breakdown of the cost of the course is as follows:

  • Room and board for 3 weeks (includes all meals): $1025
  • Course fee: $1375
  • Total: $2,400

Additionally, students are responsible for airfare, which is typically around $600-$800 depending on location and timing of the purchase. Many students are able to fully or partially pay for the course with funding from their home institution. A limited number of need-based tuition waivers are available. 


The 2018 course will take place from July 8-28 in Mirebalais, Haiti. Priority deadline to apply is February 26, 2018. Learn more and apply: