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Bioethics & Professionalism (BP)

Dept. Contact Cynthia Chaidez
Location SSOM 280
Phone 708-327-9208



Department: Bioethics & Professionalism
Course Number: BP-431
Course Title: Social Justice and Underserved Minorities
No. of Students: 30  
Site: SSOM 
Supervisor: Mark Kuczewski, PhD   
Duration: 2.0 weeks credit
Periods Offered: Runs December - March
Prerequisite: None
Special Note:

Also counts as an activity for the bioethics honors program. Graded Pass/Fail only.

This course is outside the required curriculum, and no student may use this course to leave from, or reduce, the required time of any other course.

1st, 2nd and 3rd year students should register through the Bioethics office (SSOM 280). 4th yr students can register online through myLUMEN.


This independent study will focus on the role of race in the United States, especially as it manifests itself in medicine. We will read two books and analyze the impact of race in terms of social justice. We will particularly focus on the issue of structural inequities that perpetuate disparities in terms of goods and services that promote quality of life, e.g., access to health care, education, and income. We will also work with the students of Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory High School to create a health fair. We will learn about the barriers to healthy living and achieving a future in the health professions that these high school students face. And, we will help them develop strategies for meeting these challenges.

At the end of this course, participants should be able to:
(1) Describe several of the social and historical roots of the antagonism between American medical institutions and the African American community.
(2) Analyze and compare personal understandings of and responses to social injustice with Institutional and structural understandings of social injustice.
(3) Identify and develop strategies to address barriers to a healthy lifestyle faced by minority communities in an inner city environment.
(4) Identify the importance of a diverse health-care work force and develop strategies to promote careers in the health professions in these communities.

Method of Evaluation:

Grading will be on a Pass/Fail basis.

Students will be graded on a written reflection on each of the two books that are the course texts. In addition, students will also be evaluated on the quality of the health fair exhibit (booth) that the student develops with the students from Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory High School.


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