The Department of Sociology of Health is a teaching and applied research unit. It was established in 1974 upon the inauguration of the Medical School by the late Professor Aaron Antonovsky, a medical sociologist, with the aim of promoting comprehensive health care. The Department embodies the very basic goals of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). Since its inauguration, the department's mission is twofold:
• To promote awareness and knowledge of the psychosocial aspects of health and illness, and the behavior and functioning of individuals, both clients and professionals, and of groups and organizations within the health care system;
• To develop means of collaboration between the behavioral sciences, health sciences and and health care professions regarding theoretical and practical health issues.
This mission is reflected in the interdisicplinary nature of the research carried out in the department for the last thirty years. One of the factors that has facilitated the richness of research has been the diverse academic backgrounds of the department's members. Now-a-days, the department is comprised of two medical sociologists, a social-worker and a health psychologist and several part-time lecturers from diverse academic disciplines such as medicine, social sciences, public health and law.
The majority of teaching delivered in this department is at the graduate level, in two programs: Sociology of Health and Gerontology. Another important commision of the Department that exists since its commencment, in which all members are fully involved, concerns teaching doctor-patient communication and interviewing skills. In this program a memebr of the Department and a physician comprise a team to tutor a small group of medical students throughout their first year. When launched it was one of the most innovative educational efforts in this area in the world. It is considered as one of the hallmarks of the BGU curriculum and has significantly influenced medical education in other schools throughout the world.
Address: The Department of the Sociology of Health, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Contact: Milka Sampson, 08-6477427; Fax = 08-6477635