Stanford students learn about health and healthcare in East Asia

Demographic change and long-term care in Japan, chronic non-communicable disease in China, national health insurance in South Korea, TB control in North Korea, pharmaceutical policy in the region and global safety in drug supply chains -- these are some of the topics explored in a new Stanford course: East Asian Studies 117 and 217,  "%course1%." Taught in fall 2008 by Karen Eggleston, Director of the Asia Health Policy Program, the course has enrolled students not only of East Asian studies but also other undergraduate majors as well as graduate students from the School of Education, School of Medicine, and Graduate School of Business.


The course discusses population health and healthcare systems in contemporary China, Japan, and Korea (north and south). Using primarily the lens of social science, especially health economics, participants analyze recent developments in East Asian health policy. In addition to seminar discussions, students engage in active exploration of selected topics outside the classroom, culminating in individual research papers and group projects that present findings in creative ways. For example, several students prepared an overview of health and healthcare in North Korea; three MBA students prepared a proposal for a healthcare venture in China (+PPT+ 1.2MB); and others attended related colloquia, interviewed researchers, and prepared summaries for public posting, such as the article on gender imbalance in China.