President Frenk Kicks Off Unique Multi-School Course on Hospitals, Health Care Services and Access


University of Miami President Julio Frenk recently gave the introductory lecture in the interdisciplinary course, Hospitals, Health Care Services and Access, which is organized and sponsored by Miami Law.

“What I find very attractive of this course is the fact that it is interdisciplinary,” said Frenk to the graduate students who were present in the inaugural class. “You will be going out into the world, where collaboration and team work are the absolute necessity.  The capacity to understand other points of view, to value those points of view and bring them to bear in common problems is essential.”

Nine schools and departments throughout the University are involved in this course. The course offers graduate students the opportunity to examine closely the complexity of today’s health care services and the multiple perspectives from which we view, think, and work in health care settings. Twenty-eight students are currently enrolled in the course.  

“By bringing together students and scholars from nine different schools and departments, UM’s innovative course has become a national pioneer in broadening and deepening our understanding and capabilities in managing healthcare provision and delivery,” said Sandra Abraham, Miami Law’s Executive Liaison for Interdisciplinary Programs and Initiatives.

President Frenk discussed why health systems matter, and what makes access to health care service so important. He also gave a framework for understanding health systems and compared the different strategies of health reforms in Mexico and the United States. President Frenk was the former Minister of Health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, and was the founding director-general of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico. In 1998, he joined the World Health Organization as executive director in charge of Evidence and Information for Policy.

“This has been an incredibly engaging and thought-provoking class that brings students from a wide array of disciplines and backgrounds to consider the hospital as an institution and method of delivering care. We were fortunate enough to begin this course with a presentation by President Frenk, who used his expertise and experiences to contextualize many of the discussions we have had in this class,” said Jean Phillip Shami, a joint J.D./M.P.H. student. “Not only was his discussion succinct and well-organized, his depth of knowledge on the subject matter and comparative analysis of health care systems in the United States and Mexico sparked a thought exercise and discussion on effective strategies for resolving many of the current issues our health care system suffers from.”

The course meets on Saturdays and will wrap up on April 9th with the final case study presentations.