You will learn how the American health care system works, what are some of the fundamental ideas that have framed it and the processes taken to modify it. You will learn the trends of healthcare delivery in rural and urban settings, by using Bradford and Pittsburgh, respectively, as models. You will also gain insight into causes of the disparities that exist between rural and urban settings. You will gain a deeper understanding of the impact of politics and economics on healthcare in these settings.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently published findings suggesting that disparities persist between healthcare in rural and urban areas. Rural communities often have higher poverty levels, fewer healthcare providers and significantly more health risks than urban areas. This course/program will provide you with the opportunity to explore the American healthcare system through a historical and politico- socio-economical lens and the relationships therein that have led to the current trends seen in the division between rural and urban healthcare delivery. This course is meant to give you a well-rounded understanding of the American healthcare system, by studying it in both rural (Bradford) and urban settings (Pittsburgh).
As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:
- Knowledge of how the American healthcare system works, including the fundamental ideas that have framed it and the processes taken to modify it
- Understanding the disparities that exist between healthcare in rural and urban areas
- A sense of the impact of politics and economics on healthcare
Ground-breaking technology and medical discoveries put Pittsburgh at the top of the list for health care providers in the nation. The Pittsburgh region offers some of the best hospitals in the nation including a transplant hospital and world-renowned children's hospital. Pittsburgh was previously known as a center for steel, mining, glassworks and manufacturing. Pittsburgh has transformed its identity over the past few decades and has become a hub for technology and healthcare. Pittsburgh is a vibrant, mid-sized city that has the feel of a small town. Pittsburgh, PA is home to many different Healthcare Providers which include: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), UPMC Health Plan, Allegheny Health Network, Highmark among others.
Bradford is a city in McKean County, Pennsylvania, United States, close to the border with New York State and approximately 78 miles south of Buffalo, New York. Bradford, PA emerged as a wild oil boomtown in the Pennsylvania oil rush in the late 19th century. Today, Bradford's two largest employers are Zippo & Case, a manufacturer of collectible pocket lighters and knives. The second largest employer is the Bradford Regional Medical Center part of the Upper Allegheny Valley Health System.
Students will be housed in double-occupancy hotel rooms in both Pittsburgh, PA and Bradford, PA.
- Double-occupancy rooms
- En-Suite bathroom
- Small workspace
- Access to a mini-fridge
- Hotel reception area
- Air-conditioned rooms
We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change. Contact your program manager with any questions.
This program will immerse you in urban and rural environments where healthcare facilities and access to healthcare can vary significantly. On this one-week, 1-credit experience will give you the opportunity to explore healthcare through a comparative lens, using Pittsburgh and Bradford as contrasting examples. This program is designed for any student who is interested in healthcare or on the pre-med track. This experience will immerse you in the healthcare system with hospital and care home visits, meetings with professionals in the field, and more. In these courses you will study:
- Trends in healthcare delivery in urban and rural settings
- The American healthcare system from a historical, political and socio-economic perspective.
- If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate, please meet with your academic adviser to discuss this program and what the courses will fulfill for you. Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.
This course/program will provide students with the opportunity to explore the American healthcare system through a historical and politico- socio-economical lens and the relationships therein that have led to the current trends seen in the division between rural and urban healthcare delivery. This course is meant to give students a well-rounded understanding of the American healthcare system, by studying it in both rural (Bradford) and urban settings (Pittsburgh).
Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, and I am the Assistant Director for Domestic Study Away Programming. I have experience running international study abroad programs and programs here at home in the United States. I was fortunate to have many experiential learning opportunities, both international and domestic, during my college career. Being from a small town in Central Pennsylvania, my experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and helped open my eyes to different cultures and career opportunities I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous experiential learning opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure. I love traveling, hate sitting still and love doing anything outdoors, in all seasons. Personally, my family and I are on a quest to visit as many national parks as possible. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study away programs, answer any of your questions and help you find the right opportunity. Please reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Orin James is an instructor of Biology at the University of Pittsburgh Bradford. He earned a BS in Biochemistry and an MS in Biology from Binghamton University. He has lived both in Germany and Austria developing his fluency in the German language. He mixes his experience working in the hospital with his teaching and enjoys sharing international perspectives on health issues with his students. Orin has a wide background in vertebrate zoology, human anatomy and physiology and has taught a number of hybrid courses that included discussions of social philosophy, determinism, colonialism, race, sex and gender. In his free time he writes poetry, takes photographs and is the host of his own web-based radio show. More information is available on his personal website.
Items Billed by Pitt
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Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs
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Total Estimated Program Cost
Total Estimated Cost of Program
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As a part of your program fee, the following are included:
- 1-credit of tuition
- Group transportation to and from Pittsburgh and/or Bradford
- One group meal per day
- Double-occupancy accommodations in hotels in both locations
Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad. Visit our Budgeting page for more information.
- Due to the nature of the program, the schedule is subject to change. There may be instances where a guest speaker or field excursion needs to be rescheduled. We ask for your patience and understanding in advance.
- Remember that this is an academic program and that you should expect to invest the same amount of time and effort on this course as you would on a course at Pitt.