It’s been almost a week since my sophomore year ended and I went home to Maryland for the summer. Finals Week was a blur of studying and exams and packing that was made enjoyable by the company of friends, random midnight meals (study snacks?) in the Campus Ministry kitchen, sun-bathing in the gorgeous weather, and country music jam sessions. It’s great to be home, but I already miss PC.
Oh yeah, and I’m officially an upperclassman. My time at PC is half over. But I really don’t want to focus on that part.
Instead, let’s talk about the fact that I am absolutely in love with the HPM program at this school. This past semester, I took HPM 101: The American Health Care System, the introductory class for my major and, I have to say, it is hands down my favorite class ever. No, I’m not exaggerating.
There are three main areas the class focuses on: public health, health insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). By the end of the class, you have a better understanding of how our health care system works, how people are insured, and the efforts to reform the system. I found this to be incredibly interesting and, since this is something that impacts everyone, I also think it’s very relevant and I would recommend anyone who is interested take it.
I really appreciated how we were encouraged to use the information we learned and apply it. Required readings consisted mostly of case studies and news articles, which helped us to stay on top of current events in health care. Also, for our final project, we had to choose an issue in our health care system, research the ACA, decide whether the law addressed that particular issue, and apply what we had learned throughout the semester to formulate our own solutions. I truly enjoyed this project and thought it was a wonderful way to tie together the themes we had been discussing all semester.
Another reason I loved this class was because the professor, Dr. Tuba, is absolutely amazing! She really made an effort to get to know all of us and she encouraged us to develop and share our own thoughts and opinions on health care in America. On the last day of class, before dismissing us for the last time, Dr. Tuba made a brief speech. She talked about how her goals for the class were to help us become informed of the issues plaguing our health care system and bring us to our own informed conclusions, as well as respect the opinions of others, even if they differed from our own. She told us how proud she was of us and all the work we did throughout the semester, how much she enjoyed teaching us, and how she hoped we would take the skills we had acquired in this class and apply them to our lives.
I definitely won’t forget the lessons I learned in HPM 101. Yeah, it provided a foundation for my major, and yeah, it definitely makes you informed when it comes to America’s health care, but I think the value of this class goes beyond that. It emphasizes important skills like group work and discussion and compromise, and it has you consider situations from others’ points of view. It emphasizes not the disagreements in views, but the similarities in end goals, and puts the focus on that to promote civil discussion and respect for others, an important skill regardless of where you go or what you do in life.