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Medical Sociology

Course requirements

Name of the course: The Sociology of Healthcare and Medicine

Code: AOKMAG425_1A            

ECTS credits: 2


 Secretary:     Csilla Motyovszki  

Secretariat: NET Building, 20th floor, Room-2015;  Tel: 210-2930/56114, 56501.

 Study affairs: Bence Döbrössy 

Exemptions:   See


Aim of the course:

By the mid to late 20th century, the biomedical model in medicine was replaced by the biopsychosocial model. There are biological, psychological and social factors in the background of illness.

Through understanding how different societies are structured and organized 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 health status of people and the practice of medicine for doctors. This is the approach we take in this course in looking at various aspects of health, illness and medical work

Competencies enhanced by the course:

  • 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 medical work.
  • Enabling students to understand the social and cultural factors that influence the 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 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

Study Material

Structure of the course:

The course starts with 7 lectures. The aim is to introduce some important and thought provoking topics in a stimulating way.

Week 1:  6 February Introduction to medical sociology, basic concepts and principles. (lecture Bence Döbrössy)

Week 2:  13, February Health and illness in society, a historical transformation of mortality and morbidity patterns. (lecture Bence Döbrössy)

Week 3: 20 February Social stratification, social inequalities and health (lecture Bence Döbrössy)

Week 4: 27 February Intercultural healthcare (lecture Bence Döbrössy )

Week 5: 5 March Globalisation and therapy choice (Lecture Szilvia Zörgő)

Week 6 12 March The challenges of digital health (lecture Dr Zsuzsa Győrffy )

Week 7 19 March Health care systems (Lecture Dr Edmond Girasek)

Week 8  23-28 March Preparation for project work and for health care system workshop (practical)

Week 9 30 March-3 April Health care systems workshop (practical)


Week 11 13-17 April Global poverty and inequalities, Inequalities and health- social class (practical)

Week 12 20-24 April Inequalities and health: age, ethnicity and gender (practical)

Week 13 27 April- 1 May The doctor- patient relationship in the 21st century (practical)

Week 14 4-8 May Illness behaviour (practical)

Week 15 11-15 May project work evaluation (practical)


 Practicals start in week 8

Group Day Time Location Teacher Teacher’s e-mail


Thursday 8000-930 NET 5 Bence Döbrössy



Thursday 8000-930 NET 2 Priscilla Biancovilli


Friday 1000-1130 EOK 1 Julianna Boros


Tuesday 1230-1400 Avicenna 2 Dr Edmond Girasek




Monday 10.00-1130 NET 10 Szilvia Zörgő


Thursday 1250-1420 EOK 5 Szilvia Zörgő


Thursday 940 1210 NET 5 Bence Döbrössy



Tuesday 1020-1150 NET 10 Szilvia Zörgő
EM 17


Thursday 1430-1600 EOK 5 Bence Döbrössy

EM 18


Tuesday 10.00-1130 NET 2 Dr. Zsuzsanna Szél
EM 19


Tuesday 10.00-1130 NET9 Dr Zsuzsa Győrffy


Lectures are held in Hevesy György Lecture hall in EOK on Thursdays at 1330-1500

Lectures are held from week 1 to week 7.

Requirements for getting the signature:

Participation in at least 75% of the practicals and completion of the project work

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.


Written final exam to be held during the examination period consisting of 20  multiple choice questions, 10 true or false questions and an essay type case analysis based on lecture materials.


0-50 points – 1

51- 60 points -2

61-74 points -3

75-84 points -4

85 points and over-       5

Study material for the exam:

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

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

Links to the books will be made available. Chapters to study will be specified.

Lecture notes and handouts posted on Moodles

Study materials