Modern Media and Healthcare

Modern Media and Healthcare: Beyond Viagra and /House/
Popular media plays an important role in healthcare. News, entertainment (House, Bones), advertising (Viagra, Omnaris…), thousands of online sites, and social media are replacing physicians and providers as the primary source of health information. Erectile dysfunction and “lifestyle drugs” have become as much a part of public discussion of health as heart disease and cancer, a development that demonstrates the influence of contemporary media on disease awareness, outcomes, priorities, and expectations. While media in its various forms can help achieve specific public health goals -- from disease eradication to changing sexual habits (HIV/AIDS) to dealing with health emergencies (swine flu, SARS, nuclear disaster) -- it is important to consider if a weekly dose of House or constant exposure to health-related content also contributes to the burgeoning population of “worried well” or to the number of patients with unrealistic expectations about their own healthcare. In this course, we will examine the reliability of media information about health, and we will consider its influence on consumer health and wellness, as well as its effects on healthcare costs. Using real examples, we will investigate how and why a given drug, procedure, or disease/wellness category breaks into public consciousness and how media content providers shape the national healthcare agenda and policy. This course will culminate in a project in which students design an innovative multi-media effort to call attention to a hypothetical emerging disease or to influence consumers regarding a health related behavior.
Course Reference Number (CRN):
Subject Code:
Course Number:
Section Identifier:


INTD 1118

All Sections in Winter 2012

Winter 2012

INTD1118A-W12 Lecture (Torman)