Jules R. Elkins
Lecturer — Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley
GRG 357 • Medical Geography
TTH 1100am-1230pm GRG 312
This course serves as an introduction to the sub-discipline of medical geography. Medical geography deals with human-environment interactions and the influence that these interactions have on public health, and encompasses a broad range of geographical work on health and health care. In this class, we will consider these issues by focusing particularly on the nexus between environmental exposures and human health outcomes. We will consider questions such as: How can concepts from geography help us to better understand health and wellbeing? How do geographic tools – such as mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – help us tackle questions in health research? This course is designed to help you to begin thinking about the complexities that geography brings to topics related to health and to provide you with some tools for studying geographic differences in health and health services. Putting data into a geographic context provides a window from which to examine possible geographic differences in health outcomes and develop public health strategies to reduce disease and improve the health of communities.
The class will focus on several distinct topical areas:
- Global health and disparity, including population pressures, infectious disease, and issues unique to less developed nations;
- Health transitions and issues centered in wealthier nations;
- Epidemiology, and the unique challenges in analyzing environmental causes of human morbidity and mortality.