Process Reflection: End of Semester

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.

What Now?

I really enjoyed being in SO215 this semester. I can definitely say that I have learned so many things about our health care system that I was completely unaware of before. I think it was really important for me to take this course because my goal is to one day become a doctor. I believe it’s important to know the origins of the modern health care system and what the current state of affairs is in order for future doctors to be able to bring about effective change. This course has opened my eyes to the imperfections of our health care system but has also shown me that there is hope. There are activists and nations out there who have already begun the next step in our health care system’s evolution and I hope that by the time I enter the medical field, I will be able to do so with pride. I think one of the things I learned about our health care system is that, with the right conditions, reform is possible. I have to say that my least favorite part about this class was learning about the negative aspects of our health care system, simply because I was so unaware of many of these facts before (for example, the existence of the chargemaster). Perhaps one day I will have the chance to be a part of the change that minimizes/eradicates the profit-seeking, corrupt, and unjust aspects of our health care system, and takes it back to its initial beneficent and altruistic roots.

End-of-semester thoughts

The primary reason why I took this class is because I realized that I knew close to nothing about how the healthcare system works in this country. I moved to the US three years ago and, thankfully, I have not had any health related issues or complications in the past years of me living here that have obligated me to go to the doctor for an emergency, have surgery, or anything similar. Therefore, I feel like for a long time I have had this perception about health in this country being extremely expensive, but never really knew why that was.

I really appreciated how the topics in the class were structured because they went from the very broad problems, to the more specific events in the history of the development of the current healthcare system. This organization of the topics allowed me to understand the concepts more clearly and allowed me to make connections as we moved forward in the content.

Looking at everything we have learned in this class in perspective, I think what is still surprising and baffling to me is the fact that the US, being the country that it is, still does not guarantee health for their citizens. I think this is something that I did know before, but this class made me see things in perspective for the first time, because it specifically compares the US with many other countries in the world. It is one thing to know that healthcare is particularly expensive in this country, but to actually look at an illustration of how much more expensive it is compared to other peer countries was something that amazed me.

I believe this is an important class for people to take, even if they are not involved or plan to be involved specifically in the healthcare field. These ideas, in my opinion, are important for everyone that lives in this country to keep in mind, because any of us could potentially be involved in a situation regarding a medical issue at some point in our lives.

Final Process Reflection

Now that we’ve come to the end of this semester and are finishing Sociology of Health Care, I think that it is really valuable and informative to reflect on the course. I think that I have gotten a lot out of the course materials. This is especially true regarding everything we have learned about medical training. When I was in high school, I attended the Academy of Allied Health and Science, a magnet school with a focus on preparing students to pursue a career in medicine. Many of my high school classmates are in pre-med programs or even in medical school already, and others are training to be nurses or to be a part of the healthcare world in some capacity (I myself am pursuing a career in public health). Learning about medical training has, therefore, had a personal meaning for me, as it is allowing me to conceptualize and understand just what my former classmates either are going through or will experience in the future in preparing to be medical professionals. I also think that, as I become a public health professional, having an understanding of the mentality that many doctors have due to their training will allow me to better cooperate with them in my efforts.

Overall, I think that this whole course has been very informative. I believe that I have learned a great deal about the whole health care system, from those who provide it to the actual people who receive it. Further, I feel like I know so much more about how people experience health and their interactions with healthcare providers from birth to death. I hope that I can express all I have learned by doing well on the final exam. To Professor Guseva and Rebecca, thank you for making this class informative, interesting, and enjoyable.

Final Process Reflection

I feel like this course has now come full circle now that we’ve talked about end of life care and elderly care. From the social determinants of health to how the medical professions view death and terminal illness, I can see how our society came to revolve around health and fitness. The concept of the patient and patient experience though, is what really stood out to me, even though I’ve never been hospitalized and I can’t relate to this.

Continue reading “Final Process Reflection”

Final Process Reflection

As this course progressed, I gained a lot of maturity in terms of the way I perceived healthcare. Being from Jordan, where most of the hospitals and clinics were privately owned, I was accustomed to a privatized healthcare system that also rode on the sympathy and empathy of the physicians. Many physicians had the habit of waiving fees or taking less money when they were dealing with less fortunate patients, or friends and family. Additionally, since I moved to the US after I was eighteen, I never had to take charge of my own healthcare, and so knew very little about the healthcare system in general. My knowledge of US healthcare was limited to knowing that several of my sick relatives with severe illnesses would come to the US for healthcare, so I thought it must be great. Because of this, I was shocked when professor Guseva started talking about this severely flawed system. Continue reading “Final Process Reflection”


Being a surgeon, or a nurse, or any sort of physician entails much more than just carrying out your rounds day-by-day and doing whatever it is you have been trained for in order helping people. It’s not just providing treatment and curing diseases and fixing traumatic injuries. With any medical position comes many social, and ethical responsibilities that are often overlooked and misunderstood as not being a major aspect of Healthcare. This class has showed me that Healthcare as a system, the relationships involved, and all of the positions of the field, not just the doctors and nurses, are a part of an elaborate environment that is constantly changing. Continue reading “Reflection”

Reality’s touch

” Who would you like to be after college?” “ A physician” I respond. I’m sure what comes up to people’s minds is the image of a doctor in a white coat, that is magically coming up with the perfect cure for his patient. There is a lot hidden behind the physician’s smile and confidence presented in this idyllic image… This was the first time that reality and concreteness related to society was presented to me in a class. It took me some time to accommodate to this novelty, and the main reason is that reality is shocking. I had no books to hide behind, and in order to fully comprehend the material presented to me I had first to accept the reality of our society and of the health care system in the United States. It wasn’t easy for me since I’ve always tried to escape from the concrete difficulties that health care is experiencing. I’ve always looked at the humanity, morality and the immense theory contained by this career, but I had never faced what in real life is the most important aspect of what we do for ourselves and our community: the political and economical bases of health care that affect deeply the real purpose of being a doctor. Health is not discounted! Health is not a right! It shocked me, disgusted me especially because I grew up in Italy, where even though not extremely successfully, health is for everyone. The analysis of the privatized health care system here made me however critically develop possible solutions and plans of actions that could be put in action in the future. This is an aspect that enriched the experience I had in this course. It stimulated me to actively elaborate onto the history and present data in order to see what can make a difference. What I will never forget is the shiver I got, when listening to a “Doctor’s touch” and to a life philosophy  that I consider morally vital. I finally heard from the outside world what I’ve been listening for a long time inside my thoughts. An inspiration that can become reality!

Process Reflection

Being from a different country I had very limited information about the US healthcare system. Before taking this class all I knew was that the number of successful treatments for cancer, heart disease, and other similar illnesses was very high. I was very confused during the first lecture when Professor Guseva mentioned that the healthcare system in the US is very flawed. Continue reading “Process Reflection”