T1 Electives


This page is maintained by the Office of Medical Education. You may contact the OME by email ( or phone (504) 988-6600.



Health and Human Rights-TRMD 6100

Dates and Course Information
Spring Semester (Period I only)/Elective Session 3
Wednesdays 12:30-2:30, Classroom JBJ 504

Course Director:

Daniel Bausch, MD, MPH&TM
Associate Professor, Department of Tropical Medicine, SL-17
Office: J. Bennett Johnston Building Rm 511
Phone: (504) 988-6368 ;  Fax: (504) 988-6686
Office hours by appointment

Course Description:

This course is designed to provide a forum for discussion of pertinent issues in global health and human rights and to motivate students to become active advocates for their resolution. Students will participate in daily discussions with local and national experts in public health, clinical medicine, and health sciences research who are also strong advocates for human rights. The speakers will stress the importance of addressing the underlying social, political, and economic factors influencing health. Speakers will give examples from their background and the motivations for their career choices and discuss the skills and strategies necessary to become effective advocates for health and human rights.

Course Objectives:

  • Define and describe human rights and their relevance to biological health.
  • Identify and describe the diverse biological, social, political, and economic factors that influence health.
  • Describe the health professional’s role in addressing these diverse factors.
  • Describe practical organizing and advocacy skills and how to apply them to create positive change.

Reading Materials:

Required text None. Readings will be distributed in class and posted on the blackboard (

Reference materials/Suggested readings.

  1. Perspectives on Health and Human Rights, by Gruskin et al (Editors). Taylor and Francis Group, 2005.
  2. Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues, by Paul Farmer. University of California Press, 2001
  3. Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor, by Paul Farmer. University of California Press, 2003.
  4. Strength in What Remains, by Tracy Kidder. Random House Publishing Group, 2009

Student Evaluation:  

  1. Oral presentation (35% of grade). The last day of the class will consist of student presentations. Each student will be required to give a 15-20 minute oral presentation on a topic of human rights interest of their choice and to propose advocacy steps for its betterment.
  2. Written assignment (35% of grade). Each student will be required to compose a brief (<3 pages) research concept paper assessing a socially/politically relevant aspect of public health. 
  3. Class attendance and participation (30% of grade). Students are expected to attend class regularly and participate constructively in the discussion.

Tentative Syllabus and Weekly Objectives:
Jan 15        Overview of Health, Human Rights and Social Justice
Daniel Bausch, Associate Professor, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA; Founding Member and Board Member, Doctors for Global Health (, Atlanta, GA

  1. Define course contents and requirements
  2. Identify and describe the interrelatedness of biological health with concepts of human rights and social justice
  3. Identify and describe historical perspective on health advocacy movements
  4. Introduction to efforts and accomplishments of existing healthcare advocacy groups

Jan 22        Research-Based Health Activism
Daniel Bausch, Associate Professor, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA; Founding Member and Board Member, Doctors for Global Health (, Atlanta, GA

  1. Identify and describe practical approaches to developing and conducting research-based projects designed to engender health activism
  2. Identify and describe how other health professionals have conducted research projects to effect policy or change in the health care system

Jan 29        Missions with Doctors Without Borders
Peter Reynaud, MD, MPH. Assistant Professor, Tulane Medical School, New Orleans, LA; Volunteer, Doctors Without Borders (

  1. Identify and describe the activities and scope of Doctors Without Borders by the presentation of three representative missions; Relief to conflict situation, Relief to natural disaster, and Relief to malnutrition situation.
  2. Identify and describe the goals of Doctors Without Borders in terms of relief and bearing witness to the situation of the disenfranchised.

Feb 5          Liberation Medicine
Lanny Smith, Director of Residency Program in Social Medicine and Primary Care Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx NY; Founder and Past President, Doctors for Global Health

  1. Define Liberation Medicine as a specific approach to activism in medicine
  2. Describe the history of the Liberation Medicine movement

Feb 12      Migrant Farmworkers, an Institutionalized Underclass
Jonathan Kirsch, MD, University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Chapel Hill, NC

  1. Identify and describe the push and pull of hired farm labor to the U.S. in the last century.
  2. Identify and describe differences between types of immigration status.
  3. Identify and describe barriers to health and justice for migrant farm workers and how they are part of an institutionalized underclass.

Feb 19        Campaign for a Sustainable Houma Nation

Dan Etheridge. Associate Director, Tulane City Center (, Tulane School of Architecture, New Orleans, LA

  1. Identify and describe the human implications of living with large scale landscape change.
  2. Identify and describe the challenges to balancing the survival of a group with the needs and free choice of individuals within that group.
  3. Identify and describe methods to take local political action to navigating the endless maze of federal programs.

Feb 26        Homeless Medical Outreach
Jim Withers, Founder and Director, Operation Safety Net (, Pittsburgh, PA

  1. Describe the history of Operation Safety Net
  2. Identify and describe the elements of our society that result in homelessness
  3. Identify methods to provide health services to homeless populations

TBA*         Coalition Building and Grass Roots Advocacy
Glen Schneider, Chief Program Officer, The Horizon Foundation, Columbia, MD

  1. Identify and describe the role of community organizing, coalition building, and voter education in public health advocacy
  2. Identify and describe the interpersonal issues involved in working with communities
  3. Identify and describe the components of a public health advocacy campaign, with an emphasis on issues specific to the NOLA community

*Date and time to be arranged.

1430 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-988-5263