Introduction Semester 5
In the first week of the semester, students will be confronted with the contrasts between the “European” approach to healthcare and public health and that of the United States (before and since the reforms of 2010). This comparative approach sets the stage for identifying what is common in European approaches to healthcare and the broader promotion of health. This sets the stage for the subsequent analyses of differences among European health systems (Health Systems Module) and for understanding broader European health strategies and the EU Health Strategy itself (Health Strategies Module). Additionally, students will be stimulated to consider the complexity of change processes for health. Change is a pre-requisite to a society that is healthier than the one we experience today. Yet much of the change that impacts health is arguably out of our control—or at least beyond the scope of health professional work. Further, even when challenges are not beyond the scope of our work, change is often elusive—both difficult to enact and often impossible to direct. This introduction will stimulate students to think about the challenges before them as they embark on careers as social entrepreneurs for health.