Today marks the start of a regular weekly feature here at Access2Academia. In the era of business, computer science, engineering, or bust, I want to highlight fields of study most of you have not likely heard about previously. There are so many fascinating subjects out there, and just about every college or university has one or more unique offerings. 

The Minor

This week I want to highlight the Health Disparities in Society Minor offered at the University of Florida. According to the program’s website: 

Health disparities describe the disproportionate burden of disease, lack of access to health care, and poorer health outcomes found among members of socially disenfranchised populations. Health disparities exist at multiple levels of society (global, national, institutional, local, and personal) and among people of diverse geographic locations, linguistic groups, socioeconomic status, and sociocultural groups. Housed in the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research (CGSWSR), the Health Disparities in Society (HDS) minor provides an interdisciplinary, intersectional framework to examine how multiple social identities (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status) intersect to reveal interlocking inequalities and preventable disparities in health.

Students who choose this minor start by taking the Introduction to Health Disparities course and end their coursework in the minor with a capstone practicum experience through the Practicum in Health Disparities course. In between those two courses, students select three elective courses, one from Category A: Theories of Social Inequality, Difference and Power, and two courses from Category B: Health Systems and Social Justice Mission. 

Two Interesting Courses

There are more than thirty elective courses within the minor to choose from. Here are two of those possible choices:

ANT 3478 Global Health Culture

Examines the ways in which diverse societies in the United States and abroad construct illness and health experiences, balance healing traditions with multiple forms of medical practice and integrate the human experiences of illness, recovery and death with the technical world of biomedicine.

WST 4704 Discrimination and Health

Examines discrimination and health from a variety of perspectives. Explores links of discrimination experiences with health behaviors and outcomes, discrimination in healthcare settings, and routes to improving health at individual, group, and legislative levels. Addresses multiple forms of discrimination (e.g., race, sex, class, sexual orientation/gender identity) and their intersections.

Five Possible Complementary Majors

The Health Disparities in Society minor would be a fantastic complement to many different majors offered at the University of Florida. Here are some possible majors that would pair nicely with the minor: 

Unique Opportunity Within the Minor: Community Resource Paramedic Program

Sample Similar Programs: