Health care is one of the most rapidly growing fields in the United States. This is because the population is quickly changing and growing older, resulting in the need for individuals who provide health care services. This is especially true of individuals whose health care services are directed toward long-term care and chronic illnesses. At the turn of the century to 1900, infectious diseases were considered the most significant threat to public health. However, at the turn of this century to 2000, chronic illnesses are among the biggest concerns for the health care industry. In fact, of the present expected life span of 76 years, most of us will live with some sort of chronic illness for approximately 13 years.
The B.S. in Interdisciplinary Health Services is a program designed for students who intend to pursue careers in health-related fields. The curriculum prepares students for a wide range of health care positions in hospitals, health departments, health agencies, research facilities, schools, and industry. This Program develops individuals who approach medicine using a carative model - that is, the focus is placed upon the patient living with and coping with a particular disease. This philosophy is in contrast to traditional medical practices that are based upon a curative model whereby patient care primarily involves fixing or curing the disease.
Based upon the interdisciplinary nature of health, this program will provide a comprehensive foundation in basic sciences, public health, social sciences, and liberal arts. Students will be introduced to a broad spectrum of health issues including sociocultural influences on health, health management, the systems of health care, legal and ethical concerns, health behavior and promotion, environmental influences on health, nutrition, mental health, life cycle health, alternative/complimentary medicine and epidemiology. This major provides students with the flexibility to design an individualized program of study based upon interests and career goals, and there is considerable room within the program to complete prerequisites needed for graduate programs in health-related fields. Students majoring in IHS will participate in an internship near the completion of the degree requirements.