Learning to See Like a Medical Sociologist: Comparing One- Versus Two-Semester Fieldwork-Based Courses

Nicole Lehpamer, Daniel Menchik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using observations from a medical sociology course offered in two formats, we compare how undergraduate premedical students learned to see sociologically after (1) completing a one-semester course in which theory in medical sociology and fieldwork were taught concurrently or (2) completing a two-semester course in which theory in medical sociology and fieldwork were taught in successive semesters. We developed a taxonomy of stages to capture students’ learning and measured their progress using video simulations that alternatively depicted scenarios in a more familiar setting (an academic hospital) and a less familiar one (a foreign cultural exchange). Students learned how to see in different ways: In the one-semester course, students came to see like medical sociologists, and in the two-semester course, students also came to see like sociologists more broadly. Educators interested in teaching students to “see more” outside of the health care realm may benefit from choosing the two-semester course option.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-56
Number of pages16
JournalTeaching Sociology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • active learning
  • medical sociology
  • qualitative methods
  • scholarship of teaching and learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this