Medical Sociologists Turn Their Lens on Themselves

Reassessing the medical sociology's potential to understand current health policy issues

From 1996 to 1998, University of Minnesota-Duluth School of Medicine sponsored a series of meetings of leading medical sociologists, who gathered to assess the current strengths and weaknesses of the field and to offer recommendations for changes that would leave it better able to address contemporary problems.

Key Results

The project's final report, Charting a Future Course for Medical Sociology, summarizes discussions from the meetings, and presents an action plan on reforming medical sociology based on the core challenges facing the field. Key points of the action plan include:

  • Increase the utility and visibility of medical sociology for those outside the field.
  • Enhance the professional development of medical sociologists and improve intra-group relations.
  • Reshape the training structures and the content of coursework in medical sociology.
  • Establish "centers of excellence" in medical sociology at a select number of universities across the country to encourage innovative training and research opportunities.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $35,105.