Social and Health Systems 3 (SHS3) seminars engage third-semester medical students with scholarship on health, illness, and medical care in a variety of fields, including anthropology, bioethics, history, law, literature, philosophy, political science, public health, science & technology studies, and sociology. Students choose a seminar from a wide range of subjects (see current offerings below). The seminars meet weekly throughout the 3rd semester. They are generally taught by faculty from the Department of Social Medicine, though faculty from the School of Law teach one SHS3 seminar.

These seminars build on material introduced in the first-year survey course Social and Health Systems 1/2. In SHS3, students immerse themselves in scholarship on a topic of interest. The seminars vary widely in content, encompassing everything from bioethics, health and human rights, and writing narrative medicine to global health, health disparities, and the evolution and production of knowledge about disease. All seminars share objectives, goals, requirements, and competencies common to the SHS3 course. Students refine skills of critical thinking in presentations, seminar discussions, and research and writing assignments.

Jon Oberlander is lead Course Director for Social and Health Systems 3. Sue Estroff is SHS 3 co-Course Director.

2019 SHS3 Seminars 

  •  Navigating Ethical Dilemmas in Patient Care
    Jean Cadigan, PhD
  • Exploring the ‘Other Side’: Experiences of Deviance, Disability and Chronic Illness
    Sue Estroff, PhD, MA
  • Pharmaceuticals, Politics, & Culture
    Jill Fisher, PhD
  • The Ethics and Politics of Clinical Research
    Gail Henderson, PhD, MA
  • Writing Narrative Medicine
    Terry Holt, MD, MFA, PhD
  • Anticipating Personalized Genomic Medicine:  Ethical Implications for Clinical Practice and Society
    Eric Juengst, PhD, MA
  • Current Issues in Law and Medicine
    Joan Krause, JD & Rich Saver, JD
  • The Revenge of the Sick: History of Medicine from the Patient’s Point of View
    Raul Necochea, PhD, MSc
  • Unfinished Journey: The American Struggle for Health Care Reform
    Jon Oberlander, PhD, MA, MPhil
  • Crossing Borders:  Immigration and Health in the United States
    Krista Perreira, PhD, MSPH
  • Sexual and Gender Minority Health: Issues, Controversies, and Inequalities
    Tonia Poteat, PhD, MPH, MMSc
  • Global Health and Medical Ethics
    Stuart Rennie, PhD, MA
  • Antagonism, Controversy, and Change in Biomedical Sciences
    Barry Saunders, MD, PhD, MA
  • Health and Human Rights
    Jeffrey Sonis, MD, MPH
  • History and Ethics of Human and Animal Experimentation
    Rebecca Walker, PhD, MA, AB