Health Activist Courses Main Page

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While there is a long history of health activism in the U.S., attempts to actually teach the techniques of health activism have been relatively limited. On this website, we collect course materials from a number of courses in medical and public health schools around the country that seek to teach students the techniques of research-based health activism. Several of these courses are based on a course taught by Dr. Peter Lurie to University of Michigan undergraduates in 1997-1998. In this course, students had to develop a research protocol, collect and analyze the data and present it in a format likely to affect public policy, such as a press conference or journal article. Other courses focus on the development of protocols, but not on the collection of the data, which it is hoped will occur in another setting. A final type of course involves a series of guest lecturers speaking about their experiences in health activism. Some of these courses are no longer offered, but are presented here as a model for others to emulate.

This work was funded first by a grant from the Medicine as a Profession Program of the Open Society Institute and then by the Irene Diamond Fund. Small grants are available to sustain research-based activism courses that are part of the network. For more information contact:

Sidney Wolfe, M.D.
Public Citizen's Health Research Group
1600 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Phone: (202)588-7700
Fax: (202)588-7796