Font Sizes: A A A

Medical Sociology

Course requirements 2020/2021

Course req. 2019/2020

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. This is the approach we take in this course in looking at various aspects of health, illness and medical work. Our aim is to introduce future medical doctors to the social factors they must be familiar with in working with patients. Topics include social stratification and health inequalities, the principles of health care systems, medicalisation and the changing medical profession, illness behaviour, intercultural issues in health care as well as the challenges of digital health.

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 Postponed due to break ordered by the University

Week 7 16  March20 March  Spring break

Week 8  23-28 March The challenges of digital health (lecture Dr Zsuzsa Győrffy ) (moodle only)

Week 9 30 March-3 April Health care systems (Lecture Dr Edmond Girasek) (moodle only)

Week 10 6 April- 10 April Preparation for project work and for health care system workshop (practical) ZOOM meeting

Week 11  13-17 April  Health care systems workshop (practical) ZOOM meeting

Week 12 20-24 April Global poverty and inequalities, Inequalities and health- social class (practical) ZOOM meeting

Week 13 27 April- 1 May Inequalities and health: age, ethnicity and gender (practical) ZOOM meeting

Week 14 4-8 May The doctor- patient relationship in the 21st century (practical) ZOOM meeting

Week 15 11-15 May Illness behaviour (practical) ZOOM meeting



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 Dr. 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. Zsuzsa Szél
EM 19
Tuesday 10.00-1130 NET9 dr. Boros Julianna

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