As the semester comes to a close, I feel lucky to have taken this class for a number of reasons. I enrolled in the class as an undeclared sophomore, attempting to decide between a sociology and international relations major. I knew that I wanted to work with people in some practical capacity, and that I was interested in the effect that big systems like healthcare systems had on human life at the most personal and individual level. While I will not be pursuing a public health major or minor at least in undergrad, the knowledge I have gained in this class is something so fundamentally relevant to my own life and the lives of those in the community that I am quite grateful to have taken the course.
I believe everyone would benefit from a basic knowledge of the materials learned in this class – no matter their profession or stage in life. Americans particularly live in a healthcare system that is very flawed, and often ends up taking a financial, physical and psychological toll on the people who need it the most. Other countries work as examples for systems functioning more efficiently or more poorly than ours, and educating ourselves about these differences is the first step to positive change. I am especially glad that I took this course at a time when the world is beginning to have more of these conversations – vast changes may be made to these existing systems in just the next few years.
In this class I learned a myriad of things I did not know before – from the consumer-centric and often arbitrarily priced mess of health care services, to conversations around death and dying and the shocking discrepancy between the care Americans want and the care they receive. I am grateful for all of it, and will absolutely consider taking more classes about health care in the future.