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Medical Sociology

Type of course:  Compulsory

                 CODE: AOKMAG425_1A

                 ECTS credits: 2

Course Director: Dr. József Kovács

Study affairs: Bence Döbrössy

Course objectives:

The aim of this course is to help students realise that social factors have a considerable effect on health, illness and healing.

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 health status and medical work.

The primary focus of the course will be on issues of health, healing and the practice of medicine. We will be looking at the social and economic prerequisites of health, determinants of illness (such as poverty and social exclusion), illness behaviour, health literacy, different systems of health care provision, the medical profession and how it is changing due to information technology to mention just a few topics.

Study material

Introduction to medical sociology study material

Health and Illness in society handout

Social stratification

Intercultural healthcare

Therapy choice

Schedule of topics:


  Week 1   4, February  Lecture Introduction to medical sociology- basic concepts and perspectives Bence Döbrössy
Week 2  11, february   Lecture Health and Illness in society- the historical transformation of mortality patterns Bence Döbrössy
Week 3 18, February Lecture Social stratification, social inequalities and health Bence Döbrössy
Week 4 25, February Lecture Intercultural Health care Bence Döbrössy
Week 5 4, March Lecture Globalisation and theraphy choice Szilvia Zörgő
Week 6 11, March Lecture The 21st century physician: role and vocation in the new Millennium Dr. Zsuzsa Győrffy


Week 7 18, March Lecture Midterm Midterm
Week 8 25-28, March Practice Introduction to practices Dr. Zsuzsa Győrffy, Dr. Edmond Girasek,  Szilvia Zörgő, , Bence Döbrössy
Week 9 1-5, April Practice Systems of health care -workshop Dr. Zsuzsa Győrffy, Dr. Edmond Girasek, . Szlvia Zörgő, Bence Döbrössy
Week 10 8-12, April Practice Global poverty and inequalities, Inequalities and health- social class Dr. Zsuzsa Győrffy, Dr. Edmond Girasek,  Szlvia Zörgő, Dr, Bence Döbrössy
15-18 April Spring break Spring break Spring break
week 11 23-26 April Practice Inequalities and health: age and gender Dr. Zsuzsa Győrffy, Dr. Edmond Girasek,  Szlvia Zörgő, , Bence Döbrössy
Week 12 29 April- 3, May Practice Ethnicity and migration Dr. Zsuzsa Győrffy, Dr. Edmond Girasek, Szlvia Zörgő, Bence Döbrössy
Week 13 6- 10, May Practice Illness behavior Dr. Zsuzsa Győrffy, Dr. Edmond Girasek, Szlvia Zörgő, Bence Döbrössy
Week 14 13-17, May Practice Stigma and medicalization Dr. Zsuzsa Győrffy, Dr. Edmond Girasek, Szlvia Zörgő, , Bence Döbrössy


Participation and making up for absences

No less than 75% of all classes 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.

Mode of certification in case of absence from classes or the exam:

Medical certificate given to the teacher or course organiser


1 Written midterm test in week 7. on the materials covered in the lectures. The midterm will consist of multiple choice questions and a case analysis. This is 50% of the final grade. The lecture notes are made available on (
2. project task in the practicals. This is 50% of the grade

  1. Written exam in the examination period.
  2. Bonus points will be given for extra tasks 10 points

Requirements for getting the signature at the end of the course:

Participating in 75% of th classes and doing the project task in the practicals


0-50 points – 1

51- 60 points -2

61-74 points -3

75-84 points -4

85 points and over-       5


Final Exam: written

Exam requirements:

The material needed to study will be made available on the departmental homepage.

Applying for exam: via Neptun

Modifying exam application: Via Neptun


Certifying absence from exam: giving medical certificate to the course organiser


Group Day Time Location Teacher Teacher’s e-mail
EM 9 Thursday 8.00-9.30 EOK 7  Szilvia Zörgő


EM 10 Thursday 9.40-11.10 EUK 7 Szilvia Zörgő


EM11 Monday 10.10-11.40 NET sz.3 Bence Döbrössy
EM 12 Monday 08.30-10.00 NET sz. 3 Bence Döbrössy
EM13 Tuesday 15.45-17.15 NET 7 Bence Döbrössy
EM 14 Thursday 16.10-17.40 EOK 5 Dr. Girasek Edmond



EM 15 Tuesday 13.10-14.40 NET sz 6 Dr. Zsuzsa Győrffy
EM 16 Tuesday 17.15-18.45 NET 3 Döbrössy Bene

Textbook: Applied Sociology of Health and Illness: A Problem Based Learning Approach by

Costas S. Constantinou ISBN 9781908911940