New SAGES Course : What is Good Healthcare Today?

Affordable Care Act, Universal Health Care, Healthcare for all, repeal and replace . . .

“What is Good Healthcare Today?” is a new SAGES course first offered in the Fall of 2018 by assistant professor, Dr. Deborah Dillon – faculty at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and a practicing acute care nurse practitioner at the Cleveland Clinic and SAGES teaching fellow, Andrea Milne, PhD.

The course attracts students from economics, biology, engineering in addition to those in pre-medicine and nursing.  As a definite topic for the 2020 elections, the class is a pertinent topic for today’s students. Defining the question, “Is healthcare a right or a privilege?” introduces the thought provoking, seminar course.

Students share stories of family members who are been impacted by pre-existing conditions or the lack of healthcare. They also share experiences of their families from healthcare systems outside of the US. The focus of the course is on the current state of healthcare in the US as compared to global healthcare. Debates focus on private versus government-funded insurance. Specific European healthcare systems (i.e. France, Germany, Japan, and Canada) are examined as well as some of the larger systems in the US – Kaiser Permanente and Geisinger Health. T.R. Reid’s “The Healing of America” (2009) provides a great resource for the students.

As a completion to the course, students in groups, have the opportunity to design ‘the ideal healthcare system’ and present their model to the class.  The diversity of students in the class, especially those in economics, brings the class to a different level of understanding as we all learn from each other.

“What is Good Healthcare Today?” provides students with an opportunity to understand and participate in the timely political debate on healthcare as well as becoming informed; voting citizens on what may be the most important topic of our time. The course also enables students interested in healthcare policy or in a healthcare profession a better understanding of the question, “What is Good in Healthcare Today?”