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Design and conduct your contribution to local health care

Global Health Amsterdam (GHA) and Global Health Indonesia (GHI) share a global health program, after which GHA focuses on primary and community care from a gender and diversity perspective.

Health is not the absence of disease or a static ‘state’ - rather, health is defined as one’s ability to adapt and (self-)manage. The definition of positive health embraces six dimensions, including bodily functions, mental functions and perceptions, spiritual dimension, quality of life, social and societal participation, and daily functioning.  In this minor, we focus on these contextual factors, such as lifestyle, patients’ individual coping styles and empowerment, which are all very important in assessing the right diagnosis and care for your patient. However, such a ‘positive health’ definition is still rather individualized. In this minor, we take you beyond such a rather individualized notion of health. What are determinants of health? And how can we influence them? This includes a deeper understanding of how health is embedded in larger societal structures, from health systems to import diseases, from gender and racism to global warming.

If you understand the factors that influence the perception of health, you will realize that being a health professional requires more than determining the correct diagnose and prescribe medication. Being a doctor for all patients across diverse backgrounds, especially in a city like Amsterdam, you should be able to practice health advocacy, arrange care for people with chronic diseases as close to people’s homes as possible, and empower people to organize their lives and quality of life. You will face challenges, such as maintaining the quality and continuity of care, managing uncertainty, providing access and outreach for underserved communities, taking into account psychosocial and socioeconomic factors, and addressing lifestyle factors (such as nutrition) that affect health. Furthermore, doctors should be aware of differences and inequalities and their connections to biological and social processes in men and women across e.g. (socio)cultural backgrounds, class, sexual orientation (intersectionality), and provide equitable and inclusive health care. As this is quite a challenging job, it is also important to care for your own health as a health professional!

Amsterdam Global Health focuses on these (global) health issues, from a primary care and community care perspective and from a gender and diversity perspective, and will support reflection and reflexivity – because who you are as a doctor matters as well. Based on the principles of Community Service Learning, students will conduct small student-generated participatory projects in collaboration with community care institutions and nonprofit-organizations such as Dokters van de Wereld (Zorgcafé), gain meaningful learning experiences, and provide practical support to the community organizations.

The minor (24 or 30 EC) consists of two components: 

  • The minor-module Amsterdam Global Health (24 EC)
  • Tracks of 30 EC will be completed with a literature essay (6 EC)

NB: Exchange students who wish to apply for one of these tracks need to have completed at least 90 EC in a relevant program, like for example in medicine, biomedicine, psychobiology, technical medicine, medical biology, liberal arts & sciences or biopharmaceutical sciences.

More about the minor Amsterdam Global Health

  • Learning objectives

    After the minor, students

    1. can describe and discuss global health challenges (determinants of health that transcend national borders) that impact the city of Amsterdam,
    2. can identify and describe challenges in primary care (in particular general practice) in the city of Amsterdam, and possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to assess and respond to those challenges,
    3. can identify and describe challenges in community care and public health in the city of Amsterdam, and possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to assess and respond to those challenges,
    4. can describe and discuss a diversity perspective on health and health care and integrate a diversity perspective in health research and in primary and community care,
    5. can design, conduct and evaluate scientific projects with a participatory research and ethics approach (stakeholder approach, dialogue, reflection),
    6. possesses personal and organizational skills e.g. vision and leadership skills, advocacy, negotiation skills, goalsetting, planning, project management, communication and cultural competence, reflexivity.
  • Teaching methods

    Across the minor, service learning, lectures, seminars, field projects, video assignment, community engagement, symposia, and peer projects will be applied.

  • Method of assessment

    Open-question open-book exam, video assignment (group), project/research report, presentation, reflection assignments.

  • Recommended background knowledge

    (Bio)medical knowledge is recommended.

  • Literature

    An overview of the study material is placed on CANVAS.

  • Target audience

    Bachelor students of VUmc School of Medical Sciences and external (and international) students with a (bio)medical background, eligible for participation in a medical program minor  
    e.g. biomedical sciences, biological and health psychology, medical anthropology, public health students.

  • Custom course registration

    All students who enrolled into the International Minor in Medical Sciences are registered by the IOO for educational activities for this course and exams. Please mind that in case you do not pass the exam you will not be automatically registered for a re-examination. In order to sign up for a resit, you must apply in time (which is two weeks before the re-examination)for the exam through the form Re-take exam Bachelor of Medicine.

  • Use of Canvas

    This course is supported by a corresponding CANVAS course, which contains all of the required information of this course including overview of the required articles and assignments. The CANVAS course will also be used to post announcements relevant to the course. You will automatically have access to the CANVAS course.