Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice Curriculum and Courses

Students must complete a total 60 credits, which include a required courses, electives, fieldwork, and professional-development workshops.

MACCP Requirements

Year One (Fall Semester)

Required Courses
GMS MA 700-A1: History and Theory of Medical Anthropology, Part I
This course introduces the history of the field of medical anthropology, and of theoretical orientations related to understanding and analyzing health and medicine in society and culture. Readings will exemplify interpretive strategies applied to health-related experiences, discourse, knowledge, and practice. Laird 3 cr., 1st sem.

GMS MA 710-A1: Medical Anthropological and Qualitative Research Methods and Design
Introduction to methodology for ethnographic field research in medical anthropology, and qualitative research methods. This course examines issues in designing anthropological research, and reviews theoretical approaches to research ethics, designing research, framing questions and questionnaire design, and data collection techniques. Weiner 3 cr., 1st sem.

Two Elective Courses (See Program Electives, below)

One-Day Professional Development Workshop: Literature Searches and Library Research

Year One (Spring Semester)

Required Courses
GMS MA 770 IRB Proposal Development and Writing
Instructor permission required. Students will learn to write a medical anthropology research proposal and related Institutional Review Board Proposal through the structure provided by the IRB of BUSM. We will address theory and methods related to the design and review process. Weiner. 3 cr., 2nd sem.

GMS MA 701 History and Theory of Medical Anthropology (Part II)
Instructor permission required. Course will address theoretical traditions in medical anthropology, focusing on orientations developed and applied within the field over the past two decades to interpretations of health-related phenomena. Laird. 3 cr., 2nd sem.

Two Elective Courses (See Program Electives, below)

One-Day Professional Development Workshop: Researching and Writing Cross-Cultural Teaching Cases

Year One (Summer Semester)

Required Courses
Fieldwork/Field Practicum Experience (Summer between Year One and Year Two)

One-Day Professional Development Workshop: Grant Writing and Funding Sources

Year Two (Fall Semester 2010)

Required Courses
GMS MA 742 Medical Anthropological and Qualitative Data Analysis
Examines strategies for analyzing anthropological data. In addition to reviewing different coding strategies and the rationales underlying them, it focuses on the application of these strategies to the analysis and interpretation of data collected by the students as part of the course process. Barnes. 3 cr, 1st sem.

GMS MA 732 Applied Anthropology This seminar will train students to engage in research, teaching, and the practice of applied anthropology in academic and non-academic settings. It will review the history, methods, and approaches to this subfield, along with its self-reflective and “engaged” dimensions. The seminar also addresses the kinds of roles one might play outside of the academy.

Two Elective Courses (See Program Electives, below)

One-Day Professional Development Workshop: Transferable Skills and Professional Development

Year-2 (Spring Semester 2011)

Required Courses
Final Project Writing Seminar (3 credits)
This seminar will train learners in the theory and practice of writing up anthropological research findings, and of writing ethnography. The course emphasizes analytical writing. Students will learn to identify and employ rhetorical and stylistic strategies and genre conventions. The class is structured as a seminar, emphasizing class discussion, workshops and peer-group work. Barnes. 3 cr, 1st sem.

Directed Study: Writing Masters Thesis

Two Elective Courses (See Program Electives, below)

One-Day Professional Development Workshop: Research Presentation

MACCP Electives

MACCP students must take at least three of their electives from the program’s course offerings. The remaining electives may be selected from MACCP offerings, and/or from courses offered through the other programs at Boston University (e.g., the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences, the School of Public Health, and the different colleges and graduate schools on the Charles River Campus).

GMS MA 605 A Social History of Medical Pluralism in The United States
This course explores issues in the social history of medical pluralism in the United States. It examines relations between medical concepts, therapies, and currents in social thought, including the roles of class, race, and gender. Barnes. 4 cr, 2nd sem. (Spring 2011)

GMS MA 620 World Religions and Healing
An introduction to approaches to healing integral to Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, African, African-descended, Latin American, Chinese, Native American traditions, and to some of the outcomes of their interactions, in relation to the experience of affliction and suffering. Barnes. 4 cr,1st sem.

GMS MA 621 Theory and Methods in Religion and Healing
An examination of the aim, function, justification and critique of classical and contemporary “theories” of religious traditions (social-scientific, psychological, phenomenological, theological, historical) using, as an organizing focus, the cross-cultural study of healing traditions. Barnes. 3 cr,1st sem.

GMS MA 622 Religion and Public Health
This course will explore relationships between religion and health in the context of public health projects. We will examine historical developments, examples of faith-based public health organizations, and current research on “religious health assets,” both locally and internationally. Laird. 3 cr, 2nd sem.

GMS MA 624 Enthnographies of Immigrants and Immigration
Prereq: Consent of instructor. This course presents different ways of studying cultural pluralism in the United States through ethnographies. We will analyze transformations of ethnicity, gender, race, and national identity that have marked both historical and contemporary migrations of people to the United States. TBA, 3 cr, 2nd sem.

GMS MA 626 Native Health, Healing and Medicine
This course examines Native American and Alaskan Native health conditions and associated systems of healing. Students will investigate historical and contemporary Native perspectives of illness, disease, and wellness. Emphasis will be placed on the socio-cultural impact of national and local health policies upon Native physical, social, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Readings will draw on medical anthropology ethnographic, Public Health, epidemiologic, biomedical, nursing, and Native studies. Weiner. 3 cr, 2nd sem.

GMS MA 630 Medical Anthropology and the Cultures of Biomedicine
This course examines biomedicine as a cultural system with local and national variations worldwide, all of which have undergone changes over time. Topics include acculturation, medicalization, the patient-doctor relationship, understandings of interventions, and chronicity. Laird. 3 cr, 1st sem.

GMS MA 640 The Cultural Formation of the Clinician: Its Implications for Practice
This course will provide a context for exploring and reflecting on cultures of biomedicine and other forms of clinical practice; the values one brings into these professions, and how the interaction of both influence one’s personal and professional life, including responses to diverse patient cultures. Barnes. 3 cr, 2nd sem.

GMS MA 650 Society, Healthcare, and the Cultures of Competence
This course examines the development of a system of health care professions and key “professional competencies” in the context of American society. It interrogates the place of “cultural competency” in the cultures of each profession. Laird. 3 cr, 2nd sem.

GMS MA 677 Topics in Medical Anthropology: HIV/AIDS
This seminar develops a critique of topics in medical anthropological theory. It revisits significant legacies from classic anthropology, joining them with insights from current theory and ethnography, to analyze selected issues in medical anthropology. TBA. 3 cr, 2nd sem.

GMS MA 680 Culture, Migration, and Mental Health
Prereq: consent of instructor. This course explores the historical intersections of cultural anthropology and psychiatry. Drawing on this heritage, the course examines contemporary issues in the development of programs for treatment of refugee and immigrant mental health. Laird. 3 cr, 1st sem.

GMS MA 682 Islamic Medicine and Healing
Explores the history of medicine and healing traditions among Muslims: the role of the Prophet Muhammad as model and source of health and medicine; the emergence of classical Islamic medicine; the influence of legal/moral traditions; the development of hospitals in the Muslim world; the influence of Sufism; the effects of biomedicine; the “revival” of Islamic medicine; and the emergence of alternative medicines. Laird. 3 cr, 1st sem.

GMS MA 684 Social History of Chinese Medicine and Healing Traditions
Explores intersections between the therapeutic, the medical, and the religious, through the study of healing traditions in China. Includes the development of classical medicine and canonical texts; the influences of Daoist, Buddhist, and other healing practices; the impact of biomedicine; the formulation of “Traditional Chinese Medicine” in the People’s Republic of China; and the worldwide dissemination of this complex of traditions. Barnes. 3 cr, 1st sem.

GMS MA 691 A-1: One-credit directed study Prereq: Consent of instructor. Laird 1st sem.

GMS MA 691 B-1: One-credit directed study Prereq: Consent of instructor. Barnes 1st sem.

GMS MA 691 C-1: One-credit directed study Prereq: Consent of instructor. Weiner 1st sem.

GMS MA 692 A-1: One-credit directed study Prereq: Consent of instructor. Laird 2nd sem.

GMS MA 692 B-1: One-credit directed study Prereq: Consent of instructor. Barnes 2nd sem.

GMS MA 692 C-1: One-credit directed study Prereq: Consent of instructor. Weiner 2nd sem.