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Tulane University School of Medicine

Course last offered: Spring 2011
Page last updated: January 13, 2011


Daniel Bausch, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M.

Health and Human Rights-TRMD 6100*

Dates and Course Information: Spring Semester (Period I only)/Elective Session 3*, Wednesdays 3:00-5:00, Classroom JBJ 504
Course Director: Daniel Bausch, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M.
Associate Professor, Department of Tropical Medicine, SL-17
Office: J. Bennett Johnston Building Rm 511
Phone: (504) 988-6368
Fax: (504) 988-6686
Office hours by appointment

*Note: This course is offered as an elective for students in the School of Medicine and as a 1-credit course for students in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Course Description

This course is designed to provide a forum for discussion of pertinent issues in global health and human rights and to motivate students to become active advocates for their resolution. Students will participate in weekly discussions with local and national experts in public health, clinical medicine, and health sciences research who are also strong advocates for human rights. The speakers will stress the importance of addressing the underlying social, political, and economic factors influencing health. Speakers will give examples from their background and the motivations for their career choices and discuss the skills and strategies necessary to become effective advocates for health and human rights.

Course Objectives

  • Define and describe human rights and their relevance to biological health.
  • Identify and describe the diverse biological, social, political, and economic factors that influence health.
  • Describe the health professional’s role in addressing these diverse factors.
  • Describe practical organizing and advocacy skills and how to apply them to create positive change.

Reading Materials:
Required text. None. Readings will be distributed in class and posted on the blackboard (

Reference materials/Suggested readings.

  1. Perspectives on Health and Human Rights, by Gruskin et al (Editors). Taylor and Francis Group, 2005.
  2. Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues, by Paul Farmer. University of California Press, 2001
  3. Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor, by Paul Farmer. University of California Press, 2003. 
  4. Strength in What Remains, by Tracy Kidder. Random House Publishing Group, 2009

Student Evaluation:

  1. Oral presentation (35% of grade). The first 60 minutes of each class (after the first class) will consist of student presentations. Once per semester, each student will be required to give a 15-20 minute oral presentation on a topic of human rights interest of their choice and to propose advocacy steps for its betterment.
  2. Written assignment (35% of grade). Each student will be required to compose a brief (<3 pages) research concept paper assessing a socially/politically relevant aspect of public health.
  3. Class attendance and participation (30% of grade). Students are expected to attend class regularly and participate constructively in the discussion.

Tentative Syllabus and Weekly Objectives:
Jan. 12    Overview of Health, Human Rights and Social Justice
Daniel Bausch, Associate Professor, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA; Founding Member and Board Member, Doctors for Global Health (, Atlanta, GA

  1. Define course contents and requirements
  2. Identify and describe the interrelatedness of biological health with concepts of human rights and social justice
  3. Identify and describe historical perspective on health advocacy movements
  4. Introduction to efforts and accomplishments of existing healthcare advocacy groups

Jan. 19    Research-Based Health Activism
Daniel Bausch, Associate Professor, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA; Founding Member and Board Member, Doctors for Global Health (, Atlanta, GA

  1.  Identify and describe practical approaches to developing and conducting research-based projects designed to engender health activism
  2. Identify and describe how other health professionals have conducted research projects to effect policy or change in the health care system

Jan. 26    Social Justice in the Provision of Health Services
Anne Mulle, Clinic Manager, Common Ground Health Clinic (, New Orleans, LA

  1. Describe the history of the Common Ground Health Clinic
  2. Identify and describe the elements of just and equitable patient care and distribution of services

Feb. 2    Medical Activism in NOLA
Barbara Major, Consultant and Specialist in Community Outreach

  1. Identify and describe public health and social issues unique to New Orleans
  2. Identify and describe the strengths and weaknesses of public and private sector approaches to NOLA’s public health issues

Feb. 9    Coalition Building and Grass Roots Advocacy
Glen Schneider, Director of Health Policy and Planning, Howard County Health Department, Columbia, MD

  1. Identify and describe the role of community organizing, coalition building, and voter education in public health advocacy
  2. Identify and describe the interpersonal issues involved in working with communities
  3. Identify and describe the components of a public health advocacy campaign, with an emphasis on issues specific to the NOLA community

Feb 16     Homeless Medical Outreach
Jim Withers, Founder and Director, Operation Safety Net (, Pittsburgh, PA

  1. Describe the history of Operation Safety Net
  2. Identify and describe the elements of our society that result in homelessness
  3. Identify methods to provide health services to homeless populations

Feb 23    Liberation Medicine
Lanny Smith, Director of Residency Program in Social Medicine and Primary Care Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx NY; Founder and Past President, Doctors for Global Health

  1. Define Liberation Medicine as a specific approach to activism in medicine
  2. Describe the history of the Liberation Medicine movement

Mar. 2    TBA

*NB: Support for this course has been received by Public Citizen (

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