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 Health Professions LEAP 

Course Description

This two semester course examines bio ethical issues through the framework of humanities in order to situate health care within its essential human context.  The class also examines diverse cultural group in the United States for the purpose of developing cultural competence in providing health care to these groups.

  • Fall Semester

    In the first semester of this course the emphasis will be on studying how individuals who work in, train for, or encounter the health care system in America have perceived and attempted to bridge gaps between dominant and marginalized communities.  Reading autobiographies and biographies of such individuals, students will examine ways in which the writers and subjects of these texts acted as explorers and “translators”: building, interrogating, or rejecting relationships between the American mainstream and their communities of origin: African-American, Latina/o, Asian-American, American Indian, and others.  These readings prepare students for next semester’s more exclusive focus on ethics in health care delivery and how both dominant and marginalized communities address and experience these concerns.  Also, directly relevant to students’ career interests is the semester research project, in which teams of students investigate the health concerns of particular marginalized populations and the cultural/historical backgrounds to these concerns.

  • Spring Semester

    In this semester, we will continue our first semester exploration of the nature of community identity and the way individuals connect with their communities and bridge disparate communities. However, we will shift our focus from non-dominant racial, ethnic, or cultural communities to the medical and health care delivery community as it interacts with those it serves, asking:

    1. What does a community of health professionals mean?
    2. Who constitutes such communities and how is membership determined? Are such communities hierarchical? Should they be?
    3. What are members’ obligations to other community members and to the communities of patients and patient families they serve? What happens when these obligations conflict?
    4. Are markers of race, class, ethnicity, religion, and gender important to community membership? Are they important considerations when serving a community of patients?
    5. How does an effective health care delivery community function in terms of setting standards and answering moral/ethical questions?

Health Professions LEAP connects you to:

  • The professor who teaches both Fall and Spring semester.
  • The classmates you’ll be with for both semesters.
  • Faculty, peer advisors, and librarians and elsewhere on campus.

Health Professions LEAP helps you to develop:

  • Critical thinking and effective reading strategies.
  • Fluency in oral and written expression.
  • The ability to work effectively in teams.

Library research skills are taught as part of your LEAP class. In the spring semester you can sign up for LEAP 1060 to receive an extra hour of credit for completing library work folded into your LEAP class.


Health Professions Faculty

Nora Wood, PhD

801 581-4856


Rebecca Larsen, PhD

801 585-9922


Rachel Borup, PhD





Last Updated: 12/18/18