The Medicine and Society Program is an exciting opportunity for undergraduate students in Arts & Sciences who are interested in exploring the interface of culture, behavior and health from a social science perspective. The program addresses the important social and cultural foundations of health and illness in human societies, with a specific emphasis upon service and research opportunities. The program is supported by a grant from the Danforth Foundation and administered through the Department of Anthropology.

Eligibility

The Medicine and Society Program is a four-year program designed for matriculating first-year students. Upon acceptance to Washington University in the spring, students may apply online for admission to the program by indicating their interest in Medicine and Society. A description of the program and how to apply online is in Getting Started, a brochure sent to students in mid-May.

Admission to this program is highly competitive. Academic credentials, aptitude and interest in a health-related career, and personal statements all will be considered in selecting 20 participants to join the entering cohort. The program will particularly appeal to students with a long-term commitment to careers in the health professions and related areas.

Curriculum

Medicine and Society has its intellectual and programmatic roots in the field of medical anthropology, which is broadly defined as the study of human health and illness across culture, time and space. Medical anthropologists examine the role of culture and society in shaping illness experiences. Foci of inquiry may include such issues as traditional health beliefs and practices; cultural clashes between traditional medicine and biomedicine; political and economic foundations of health disparities; alternative and complementary medicine; social and behavioral factors affecting disease rates; and public health responses to emerging health problems. These topics all share a focus on community as a primary area of inquiry and population as a primary unit of analysis.

The Program

Requirements for the Medicine and Society Program

Once admitted to the program, students must complete the following:

  • First-Year Medicine and Society Seminar
  • Community Health Internship
  • Anthro 260 Topics in Health and Community
  • A major or minor in anthropology or the global health and environment track of anthropology
  • Senior Capstone or Honors Thesis

Students who are accepted into the Medicine and Society Program are enrolled in a year-long First-Year Seminar on culture, health and society in the Department of Anthropology. This seminar provides the academic foundation for future community health work in St. Louis. Beginning as early as the sophomore year, students identify and select a community health site for internship placement. The internship opportunity provides students with a location for focusing their interest and involvement in community health and allows students to participate in the work of the host organization. During the junior and senior years, students have the opportunity to intensify their academic and service activities at the internship site, which may culminate in a Senior Honors thesis or Capstone project based upon original research and investigation. Students in the Medicine and Society Program are encouraged to graduate with honors, based upon their independent research and academic achievement.

This course of study provides an excellent foundation for future graduate work in medicine, public health or any of the allied health professions such as nursing or physical and occupational therapy. Students who complete the program also will be highly competitive for admission to other professional schools such as law, business or social work.

Personnel

Medicine and Society is directed by Bradley Stoner, a medical anthropologist and infectious disease physician at Washington University. Dr. Stoner has extensive experience as a physician and public health researcher and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. He oversees student training in medical anthropology and placement in the community internship sites. Students also have full access to other faculty in anthropology and related disciplines who offer courses of relevance and interest.

Contact:Dr. Bradley Stoner
Phone:314-935-5673
Email:bstoner@wustl.edu
Website:http://anthropology.artsci.wustl.edu/undergraduate/medicine_society

The Medicine and Society Program is not a major/minor program; it is a four-year program that is available by application only.

Current students who are interested in the Medicine and Society curriculum are advised to investigate a major or minor in anthropology with a focus on medical anthropology or the optional global health and environment track of the anthropology major or minor.

The Medicine and Society Program is not a major/minor program; it is a four-year program that is available by application only.

Current students who are interested in the Medicine and Society curriculum are advised to investigate a major or minor in anthropology with a focus on medical anthropology or the optional global health and environment track of the anthropology major or minor.

Please refer to the requirements in the Medicine and Society Overview section where required courses are listed. Please visit the Anthropology page for specific course information.

Director

Bradley P. Stoner
Associate Professor
MD, PhD, Indiana University
(Anthropology)

Professors

Geoff Childs
PhD, Indiana University
(Anthropology)

Kenneth H. Ludmerer
MD, Johns Hopkins University
(History)

Carolyn Sargent
PhD, Michigan State University
(Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)

Glenn D. Stone
PhD, University of Arizona
(Anthropology)

L. Lewis Wall
DPhil, University of Oxford
(Anthropology)

Associate Professors

Rebecca J. Lester
PhD, University of California, San Diego
(Anthropology)

Shanti A. Parikh
PhD, Yale University
(African and African-American Studies; Anthropology)

Senior Lecturer

Barbara A. Baumgartner
PhD, Northwestern University
(Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)