Courses and Registration

Undergraduate Education (courses offered on a rotating basis)

BSC 331 BEHAVIORAL FACTORS IN HEALTH AND DISEASE. (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of the study of human behavior relating to health and disease and the organization of health care as a social system. Selected concepts from the psychological and social sciences are presented in a biobehavioral frame of reference and applied to the consideration of specific problems.

HON 152  YOU, ME, MYSELF & I: PSYCHOSOCIAL INFLUENCES ON HEALTH (3 credits)

This interdisciplinary course focuses on how psycho- (individual thought and behavior) social (interactions with others) factors influence health and wellbeing.  Psychosocial factors are broadly defined to include cognition, attributions, beliefs, personality, self-concept, social support, habits, behavior change, mindfulness, stress, and decision making.  Likewise, health and well-being are broadly defined to include dementia, depression, coronary heart disease, rehabilitation after traumatic injuries, addiction, obesity, and mortality.  Putting them together, examples of course topics include cognitive evidences of dementia, attributions causing depression, personality links to coronary events, beliefs promoting placebo effects, and behavioral change for smoking cessation.  Concepts are introduced via charts with definitions and applications; quizzes are based on detecting the concepts in illustrative narratives.   For those interested in pursuing careers in the health care professions it provides a basic understanding of the behavioral concepts that are included in professional school admissions tests as well as board certification tests.

HON 251 THE ENEMY WITHIN: CULTURE AND HEALTH BEHAVIOR (3 credits)

This seminar will acquaint students with the major social, cultural, and behavioral phenomena that affect our reactions to variations in health. Students will move from a knowledge of basic universal psychological processes to the social and cultural factors shaping our perceptions of health. With this conceptual foundation, the rest of the semester will be spent investigating its impact on communication, especially in the health arena. Two-student teams will select a condition/issue from a list of social/health issues immediate to our society, e.g., intimate partner violence, TB, obesity. They will then spend the rest of the semester researching/discussing their topic and designing a health behavior change product, either a video or poster, using social marketing theory and optimal communication techniques. Each team’s product will be discussed and appraised by the rest of the group. Assessment will focus on application and synthesis of concepts, with writing the focus of examinations and papers.

HON 301: COGNITIVE, AFFECTIVE, AND BEHAVIORAL NEUROSCIENCE

This course will provide an introduction to the amazing advances in behavioral neuroscience, at a time of major new human brain initiatives made around the world. Since this is an honor’s course, students will be challenged beyond the demands of a normal lecture course.  The course will involve critical thinking, scientific reading, in-depth discussion, and hands-on research experience.  The seminar and lab experience-based course is targeted at students who are interested in understanding recent advances in system neuroscience that underlies human cognition (e.g. remembering, communication, decision-making) and affect (emotion, personality traits).  The course will cover functions and malfunctions of the human brain and their implications for human behavior. Students will be introduced to a specific topic each week.  Open discussion and student inputs will be fostered through presentations of notable research papers and research questions.  Hands-on experience in behavioral and neuroimaging related laboratories will be included as part of the learning components.  Group presentations and a write-up of a proposed human experiment will be part of class evaluation. 

Dental Education

BSC 814 PATIENTS, DENTISTS AND SOCIETY I. (1 credit)

This course aims to orient the student to the place health and health professions play in modern cultures. Recognition of their own social assumptions and values and those of persons of different backgrounds is encouraged. Understanding, predicting, and changing dental patient behavior from a social standpoint is emphasized. (Same as CDE 814.)

BSC 824 COMMUNICATION IN THE DENTAL HEALTH CARE SETTING (1 credit)

This course aims to improve the student’s ability to communicate with patients and the public in an empathetic and professional manner. Methods of obtaining necessary health information from all types of patients are taught. Prereq: Second year standing in the College of Dentistry. (Same as CDE 824.) 

Medical Education

MD 811 INTRODUCTION TO CLINICAL MEDICINE (10 credits)

Introduction to Clinical Medicine I is a year-long course for first-year medical students, designed to develop applied behavioral and professional skills relevant to the practice of medicine and in preparation for clinical rotations, to build a foundation of behavioral science knowledge relevant to medical practice, and to develop an awareness of professionalism and ethical issues foundational to the practice of medicine. Prereq: Admission to the College of Medicine.

BSC 815 FIRST-YEAR ELECTIVE, BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE. (1-3 credits)

With the advice and approval of his or her faculty adviser, the first-year student may choose approved electives offered by the Department of Behavioral Science. The intent is to provide the student an opportunity for exploration and study in an area which supplements and/or complements required course work in the first-year curriculum. Pass-fail only. Prereq: Admission to first year, College of Medicine.

BSC 825 SECOND-YEAR ELECTIVE, BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE. (1-4 credits)

With the advice and approval of his or her faculty adviser, the second-year student may choose approved electives offered by the Department of Behavioral Science. The intent is to provide the student an opportunity for exploration and study in an area which supplements and/or complements required course work in the second-year curriculum. Pass-fail only. Prereq: Admission to second year medical curriculum and approval of adviser.

BSC 850-899 FOURTH-YEAR ELECTIVE FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS (1-6 credits)

With the advice and approval of the faculty adviser and the Student Progress and Promotions Committee, the fourth-year student may choose approved electives offered by the various departments in the College of Medicine. The intent is to provide the student an opportunity to develop his fund of knowledge and clinical competence. Prereq: Admission to the fourth year, College of Medicine and/or permission of the Student Progress and Promotions Committee. 

Graduate Education 

Core Courses for the Programs in Clinical and Translational Science (offered each Fall and Spring): 

BSC 731 METHODS AND TECHNOLOGIES IN CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE. (3 credits)

This overview course is designed to introduce the student to the major methods and technologies of clinical and translational science (CTS) with an emphasis on human subject’s research. Students learn these core methodologies through classroom discussions, readings, and written portfolio activities that challenge them to apply methodological concepts to their own areas of research interest. Specifically, the course teaches students how to formulate research questions and write literature reviews; apply CTS research methods, including experimental, survey, and qualitative research methodologies, to diverse areas of research by aligning appropriate methodologies to research questions of interest; and enhance interdisciplinary communication skills. It is assumed that students are engaged in research that is consistent with CTS or will become engaged in such research in the near future. Prereq: Graduate standing. Permission is required from the Course Director for entry into the class. (Same as CPH 669.)

BSC 732 INTERDISCIPLINARY PROTOCOL DEVELOPMENT. (2 credits)

This course will introduce students to the processes involved in the development and implementation of interdisciplinary research. Students will consider key aspects of the leadership, communication, and teamwork involved in conducting interdisciplinary research. Students will also learn about the structure and functioning of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as the NIH grant application and review process. Finally, using their knowledge regarding the research methods and technologies of clinical and translational science, students will develop an NIH-format research grant application. Prereq: Graduate standing and consent of instructor. (Same as CPH 670).

BSC 733 SEMINAR IN CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE. (1 credit)

This seminar course is designed to orient students to clinical and translational research community and activities at the University of Kentucky and to incorporate a multidisciplinary cooperative approach to clinical and translational research. Students are expected to apply their knowledge of effective scientific communication, responsible conduct of research, and methods and technologies of clinical and translational science to ongoing discussions. The course will consist of seven seminars focusing on different topics of clinical and translational research. Students will be required to present a description of their research interests and activities during one seminar. Homework assignments will require students to summarize the key elements of each seminar as related to clinical and translational research and the relevance of these issues to their own research interests and career plans. Active participation by all members is expected. Prereq: Graduate standing and consent of instructor. (Same as CPH 671.)

BSC 534 ETHICS AND RESPONSIBILITY IN CLINICAL RESEARCH. (3 credits)

Clinical scientists need a sound understanding of the ethical principles guiding the conduct of research projects. This course will address issues relevant to ethically sound study design, responsible conduct of research and scientific misconduct. Students will also complete human subject’s protection training and learn to conduct research in an ethical manner. During this course, students will engage in both in-class lecture and discussion sessions as well as out of class learning activities. The final project for graduate students for this course will serve as a practical application of what is learned during the course to students’ stated research interest. The goal of this course is to provide an overview of ethical considerations when conducting and reporting clinical research, as well as to provide experience in the practice and application of ethics to clinical science. It is assumed by the course directors that students in this course are either actively engaged in clinical research or intend to be involved in clinical research in the near future. This course has been designed around the principle that practical knowledge about how to conduct ethical research should be the focus. A second key principle of this course is that it is student-centered, meaning that it emphasizes the involvement of students in applying the concepts of ethics to their own research interests. The course activities are intended to promote the ethical application of research concepts to students’ areas of interest and to foster practical knowledge that supports students’ own research agendas. The diverse interests and experiences of students and faculty offer opportunities to learn from each other. Prereq: This course is designed for scholars pursuing research training in clinical and translational science to integrate and apply knowledge obtained in previous training. Permission is required from the Course Director for entry into the class.

BSC 772 FUNDAMENTALS OF BIOSTATISTICS FOR CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH (3 credits)

This course is for students that are either actively engaged in clinical and/or translational research or intend to be involved in research in the near future. This courses consists of lectures, demonstrations and discussion sessions on biostatistics for the health sciences. The course activities are intended to promote the application of biostatistics to research concepts in the students’ areas of interest and to foster practical knowledge that supports students’ own research interests. (Note: STA 580: Biostatistics or equivalent course can be substituted.) 

Departmental Elective Courses (offered on a rotating basis): 

BSC 620 ORIENTATION TO MEDICAL BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE. (3 credits)

This course offers a structural exposure of students to the varieties of basic and clinical science research and current issues in health care policy under discussion at the University Medical Center. Following weekly attendance at research seminars and clinical rounds, students will present their observations in follow-up discussion groups. May be repeated to a maximum of three credits. (Same as CPH 841.)

BSC 626 SURVEY OF HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY. (2 credits)

A survey of the field of health psychology. It will explore the ways in which social and psychological research contribute to an understanding of health and illness behavior. Prereq: Graduate or professional standing and consent of instructor. (Same as PSY 626)

BSC 750 HISTORY OF MEDICINE AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS: IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH DISPARITIES. (3 credits)

This course on the history of medicine among African Americans seeks to provide an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. The course will enable students to: 1) Articulate how the earliest encounters between African Americans and Western medical researchers set the stage for health inequities. 2) Engage in and direct thought-provoking discussions of how racist pseudoscientific ideas remain in contemporary society that contributes to health disparities among African Americans. 3) Critically examine the theory of eugenics and social Darwinism and how they are used to justify experimental exploitation and poor medical treatment of African Americans. 4) Understand and identify how historical and contemporary medical issues have contributed to medical ethics of distrust in the African American community.

BSC 755 Race, Racism & Health Disparities among Blacks in the U.S.

This course on racism and health disparities is designed to support graduate studies in the social sciences, allied health, and medical disciplines. This course will briefly review the biological and social history of race in America; critique emerging views on the genetics of race; discuss how the classification/mechanism of “race”operates to contribute to health disparities; explore theoretical frameworks of racism and related measures; differentiate between the terms “health inequities”, “health inequalities” and “health disparities”; and, examine the biopsychosocial impact of racism on health. Although it is recognized that the discussion of race, racism and health is relevant to other “racially-classified social groups” the course will draw primarily upon the experience of Blacks in the U.S.

BSC 760 AGING, HEALTH AND DECISION MAKING. (3 credits)

This is a doctoral level seminar that provides an overview of behavioral decisional theories (e.g. rational choice, multiattribute utilities models, naturalistic decision-making, ethnographic decision models, Janis and Mann’s conflict theory, information processing theory, heuristic models, process tracing models, etc.) and examines research applications of those theories to the health of older adults. Research focuses on decision made by physicians, older adults, family caregivers and policy makers. A variety of applications include such decision domains as preventative screening, retirement and financial planning, other medical treatments, self-care, seeking medical care, institutionalization, end-of-life, etc.

BSC 763 WOMEN’S TRAUMA AND MENTAL HEALTH. (3 credits)

This course will examine the research on intimate partner violence, mental health, and substance abuse among women. Clinical and legal interventions will also be discussed. Although knowledge of at least basic statistics would be helpful, it is not required for this class.

BSC 764 SEMINAR IN HEALTH INEQUITIES. (3 credits)

This course is designed to critically examine undeniable inequities in the distribution of morbidity and mortality. Students explore linkages between disease burdens and the social, economic, and cultural contexts of our rapidly changing world by integrating local, national and international perspectives from social and biomedical sciences. Prereq: Graduate studies in the social sciences and permission of the instructor.

BSC 765 RESEARCH PROBLEMS IN MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY. (3 credits)

(1) Advanced history and theory of medical anthropology; (2) research design, field work, analysis of data in medical anthropology. Prereq: Consent of instructor. (Same as ANT 765.)

BSC 766 CONCEPTS IN MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY. (3 credits)

A review of sociological concepts and methods which have been applied to the study of health and medicine; the contributions of medical sociology to general sociological theory and to concepts and research on health-related problems of society. Prereq: Consent of instructor.  (Same as SOC 766.)

BSC 770 PSYCHOSOCIAL ISSUES IN HEALTH AND AGING. (3 credits)

This course will focus on psychosocial issues related to the physical health and functioning of older adults. Topic areas include: theories of aging; age-appropriate research designs; age-related cognitive personality, social and family changes which influence physical health; health behavior and education of older adults; and selected chronic conditions, e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, depression, diabetes and stroke.

BSC 772 TOPICAL SEMINAR IN MEDICAL BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE. (1-3 credits)

Advanced study of selected topics of current importance in medical behavioral science. May be repeated to a maximum of six credits. Prereq: Consent of instructor.

BSC 773 PSYCHOSOCIAL ONCOLOGY. (3 credits)

This course will introduce the student to the field of psychosocial oncology. Historical and recent developments in the application of behavioral science knowledge and methodology to the understanding and treatment of cancer and the cancer patient will be examined. The role of psychosocial factors in the etiology, prevention, and treatment of cancer will be explored. Emphasis will be placed upon the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors throughout the course of cancer. Prereq: Graduate standing.

BSC 774 FOOD AND FOOD SECURITY IN A CHANGING WORLD. (3 credits)

This cross-cultural seminar explores the biocultural interactions among food, human biology, and the social, cultural, political and economic factors that shape food-related behaviors and nutritional status of populations. Topics include the social role of food, food beliefs and ideology, the political economy of malnutrition, development strategies and food security, and methods in nutritional anthropology research. Readings and discussions are research focused and approach issues from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Prereq: ANT 601 or consent of instructor. (Same as ANT 774)

BSC 776 SEMINAR IN DEPENDENCY BEHAVIOR. (3 credits)

The course is designed to explore theories of dependency behavior by examining the concept of dependency as it can be applied to the study of various phenomena including alcohol use and abuse; dependence on other psychoactive substances; institutional dependency; dependency in work settings; and poverty and welfare. Prereq: Consent of instructor. (Same as ANT/PSY/SOC 776)

BSC 777 SEMINAR IN MENTAL ILLNESS CONCEPTS, RESEARCH AND POLICY. (3 credits)

Advanced study of contemporary concepts of mental health and mental illness, and their historical development; major forms of response to mental illness. Prereq: Consent of instructor. (Same as SOC 777)

BSC 778 BEHAVIORAL FACTORS IN SELECTED DISEASES. (3 credits)

An exploration of behavioral science concepts which bear on various physical illnesses. The perspective of the course is interdisciplinary, using concepts from the various behavioral science disciplines. Prereq: Consent of instructor.

BSC 779 BEHAVIORAL FACTORS IN DEATH AND DYING. (3 credits)

Behavioral concepts are examined which explain reactions of individuals, collectivities and social institutions to the phenomenon of death. Prereq: Consent of instructor.

BSC 782 WOMEN’S HEALTH AND AGING. (3 credits)

This class explores the issues related to health and well-being among older women. Using a multidisciplinary approach that blends humanities, social and medical science and public policy, the course examines social, economic and cultural contexts of chronic physical and mental health. Prereq: Upper level/graduate class in social science. (Same as GRN 782.)

BSC 785 COMPARATIVE HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS. (3 credits)

This seminar will focus on concepts, issues, and research pertaining to health care systems in comparative perspective. It will deal with the following questions. (1) What are the core analytical dimensions of a health care system? (2) How do health care systems connect with the other institutional domains of a society, with its value-system, and with its major cultural and historical trends? and (3) Within the health care system, how are the main constituents of modern medicine related to each other? Prereq: Consent of instructor. (Same as SOC 785.)

BSC 787 BIOBEHAVIORAL PERSPECTIVES ON DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE AND DEPENDENCY. (3 credits)

This seminar course is designed to survey major topics, concepts and issues pertinent to the field of drug and alcohol abuse and dependence. The course will consist of 14 weekly presentations by instructors followed by open discussion of the presentation and assigned readings by class members. Active participation by all members is expected. Each weekly presentation is designed to provide a general overview of the current state of knowledge (e.g. theory, methods, ethics, review of classic and/or exemplary studies) in a given area of drug and alcohol abuse and dependence research. Discussions are intended to integrate the information across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Prereq: Graduate standing.

BSC 788 DRUG ABUSE: CONTEMPORARY THEORIES AND ISSUES. (3 credits)

This course is designed to familiarize students with major concepts and current issues in the field of substance abuse research.

BSC 790 RESEARCH IN MEDICAL BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE. (1-6 credits)

Individually directed research and reading in particular aspects of medical behavioral science under the supervision of one or more members of the faculty. May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prereq: Consent of instructor.