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Medical Sociology for Dentistry

2019/2020   2nd Semester


Semmelweis University, Faculty of Dentistry

Name(s) of the Institute(s) teaching the subject:  Institute of Behavioural Sciences

Course coordinator: Bence Döbrössy

Name of the subject: Medical Sociology for Dentistry

Credits:     1

Total number of hours: 28     lectures: 12     practices: 16

Type of the course (mandatory/elective):    Mandatory

Academic year: First year II term

Code of the course1: FOKMAG010_1A


Aim of the subject and its place in the curriculum:

The aim of this course is to help students realise that social factors have a considerable influence on oral/ dental health and dentistry. Social, economic and cultural factors have a great effect on the dentist-patient relationship, the way people make sense of their symptoms and seek dental help, their oral/ dental health related behaviour as well as on the aetiology of oral and dental conditions.

By understanding how different societies are structured and organised and how the categories people belong to (gender, ethnicity, occupation, educational level, financial situation to name but a few) shape all aspects of their lives and opportunities, our hope is that students will better comprehend the social reality influencing the dental health status of people and the practice of dentistry for dentists.


Course schedule:


Week 1:  3-7 February Introduction to medical sociology for dentistry, preparation for the project work. (practice)

Week 2:  14, February General health and oral health status through history (lecture Bence Döbrössy)

Week 3: 21 February Social determinants of oral health and oral health related behaviour. (lecture Bence Döbrössy)

Week 4: 28 February: Intercultural dentistry (lecture Bence Döbrössy)

Week 5: 6 March :  Patient expectations regarding dentistry: the theory and practice of dental patient satisfaction studies.  (lecture Bence Döbrössy )

Week 6 13 March No lecture due to break ordered by the university.

Week 7.16 March-20 March spring break

Week   8 26 March  deviance, norms and dentistry (Lecture Bence Döbrössy Moodle)

Week 9  3 April: Socio-cultural aspects of pain (lecture Szilvia Zörgő Moodle)

Week 10 6 April- 10 April   Social inequality and health inequality (practice)

Week 11  13-17 April Health Care Systems workshop (practice)

Week 12 20-24 April 21st century dentistry technological and socio-cultural changes (practice)

Week 13 27 April- 1 May) Dental help seeking behaviour, illness behaviour (practice)

Week 14 4-8 May) The profession of dentistry, dentist patient relationship. (practice)

Week 15 11-15 Medicalisation in dentistry, cosmetic dentistry (practice)


Lectures are held from week 2 to week 7, on Fridays from 11.00-1240 in The Balogh Lecture hall


Competencies gained upon the successful completion of the subject:

  • Helping students acquire familiarity with the social environment which is necessary before meeting patients for the first time and all the way through the process of dental work.
  • Enabling students to understand the social and cultural factors that influence the oral health and illness related decisions patients make.
  • Sensitising students to the social determinants of health and illness behaviour through analysing cases.
  • Assisting students in comprehending the social and cultural aspects of systems of dental health care provision
  • Enhancing the students’ ability to plan and carry out research and function in small teams as part of the research work undertaken as part of the course

How to register for the course: Neptun

Policy regarding the attendance and making up absences:
75% of practicals must be attended. One practical absence can be made up by undertaking an extra task set by the practical leader or by participating in the practical with another group


Project work:

Student will be given topic related tasks during the practicals which they will have to complete in groups in order the get the signature.

The tasks will involve finding topic related data in class, interpreting it and presenting it to the group, relating the topics discussed in class to the students’ own countries and experiences and sharing it with others, reading articles and summarising them and participating in games and activities. More information will be provided separately.


Means of assessing the students’ progress during the semester:
completion of project work is required for getting a signature

Requirement for acknowledging the semester (signature):
completion of project work and 75% practical attendance is required for getting a signature

Type of the examination:

Exam requirements5:

The written exam will consist of multiple choice questions and an essay type case analysis where students are required to understand, explain and apply to the given case concepts and knowledge acquired in the course.

In order to undertake the exam successfully, students must know the material made available to them on the departmental home page as well as the textbook.

The material covered in the exam:
21st century dentistry technological and socio-cultural changes
Dental help seeking behaviour
Intercultural aspects of dentistry
Medicalisation in dentistry, cosmetic dentistry
Patient expectations regarding dentistry
Social determinants of oral health and oral health related behaviour
Social inequalities and inequalities in dental health
Socio-cultural aspects of pain
Systems of dental health care provision
The profession of dentistry

Grades :
0-50 points – 1
51- 60 points -2
61-74 points -3
75-84 points -4
85 points and over 5

The written exam is 100% of the final grade

How to register for the exam: Neptun

Opportunities to retake the exam:
As specified by the Study and Exam Regulations

Lecture slides and study notes will be made available on Moodle


Gabe, Bury and Elston ‘Key Concepts In Medical Sociology’ 2004 Selected chapters only!

Hannah Bradby: ‘Medical Sociology, an introduction’ 2009 Selected chapters only!


Group Day Time Location Teacher Teacher’s e-mail
ED 1 Friday 1130-1300 EOK 4 Bence Döbrössy


ED2 Friday 950-1120 EOK 4 Bence Döbrössy
ED 3 Monday 16.00-1730 EOK 5 Bence Döbrössy
ED 4 Wednesday 1400-1530 FOK Varga Bence Döbrössy
ED 5 Wednesday 8.00-9.30 FOK seminary room Dr Katalin Kovács