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Health Studies

Contact Us

Andrew Hertel

Assistant Professor of Psychology; Chair of Health Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Health Studies Minor

How We Work

  1. We look at health in a different way. We don't approach it from an exclusively scientific perspective, but instead analyze the biological, psychological, cultural, spiritual, economic, and ethical factors that impact the health of individuals and society as a whole. That makes us pretty unique.
  2. We bring people from different backgrounds and interests together to discuss big issues. Like agriculture. How has government policy (political science), which encourages larger, more intensive farm operations (economics) impacted the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (biology) and contamination of waterways (environmental studies)? Bringing people from all of these different majors together to talk about the issues affecting health today makes for a more well-rounded experience, and, often, surprising insights.
  3. We get out of the classroom. The best way to fully understand what we're learning is to take it out into the world. Our students get that opportunity through a capstone internship at a local hospice, daycare, health department, or other nonprofit or business. We also find internships (often with the help of the Bastian Family Career Center) at locations across the country. Carolina Goncalves '16, psychology major, was a research assistant and counselor at the summer treatment program at Florida International University. Sruthi Doniparthi '16, biology major, was a project management intern at Rush University Medical Center. 
  4. We take a wider world view. We offer more than 50 programs around the world, including Thailand: Community Public Health (CIEE)—a good choice for health studies minors.
  5. Our grads find success. Emiley Brand '14 is a physical therapy graduate student. Tom Courtright '14 is a Peace Corps community health empowerment volunteer in Fiji. Devon Blackburn '13 is a science teacher. Sara Leverton '13 is a parent educator at Crittenton Center, a child abuse prevention center. Sarah MacDowell '11 is completing her residency in medicine and pediatrics at Ohio State. Nevena Kirova '08 is a clinical trial coordinator at Covance. Summer Kingery '01 is a fisheries observer at A.I.S. Observers. Andrew VanZee '00 is a health IT coordinator for the Family and Social Services Administration.

Preparation for Medical School

While health studies complements most any major, it's particularly great preparation for students interested in medical school.

Many of the leading causes of illness and mortality are caused by behavioral and environmental determinants of health, like smoking and drug use, diet and exercise, and inequities in care due to socioeconomic status. Increasing diversity and the aging of the population has led to an increased focus in medical schools on cultural sensitivity.

On top of all of these factors, the roles of physicians and patients, of inpatient and outpatient treatment, of insurance and compensation, and of preventative care and health maintenance, have changed significantly in recent years.

Recognizing the importance of socio-cultural and behavioral determinants of health, the MCAT was updated in 2015 to include social science and psychology, stressing the importance of the social sciences in addition to the natural and physical sciences to future physicians.

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Printed on Wednesday, October 27, 2021