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HCM 4595 – Medical Tourism in Thailand


HCM 4595

Special Topics in Healthcare Management : Medical Tourism in Thailand

Course Syllabus

J-Term 2010

Dec 26, 2009-Jan 16, 2010

Instructor: Jill Klingner, R.N. Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Healthcare and Operations Management
Labovitz School of Business and Economics
1318 Kirby Drive
335 K LSBE
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth MN 55812
Phone:  218-726-8626
Fax 218-726-7516


Co-Instructor: Catherine Solheim

Associate Professor

Department of Family Social Science

287 McNeal Hall

1985 Buford Ave.

St. Paul, MN 55108

Phone (612) 625-1201

Fax: 612-625-4227

E-mail csolheim@umn.edu



Instructor consent


Course Materials

            Culture Shock! Thailand: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Paperback)

by Robert Cooper


Course Overview

            Understanding the globalization of health care will be most effectively demonstrated through experiential and service learning. Thailand has an active and growing medical tourism industry as well and several other medical markets not accessible in the US, for example, Hmong village healthcare, refugee health, and traditional or eastern health. The course is enhanced by being taught in Thailand by providing hands on experience in these various healthcare delivery systems.


Special Alert:

Food in Thailand is often made with peanuts and shellfish. People with food allergies must take extra care.


Instructor Qualifications:

Dr. Klingner has visited Thailand on numerous occasions. Dr. Klingner worked in Thailand with Khmer refugees in 1986-87 while seconded to the United Nations Border Relief Operations (UNBRO). She has returned to Thailand as a tourist on several occasions.


Dr. Solheim’s knowledge of Thailand and fluency in the Thai language stems from her two-year experience living and working in rural Thai villages in 1979-80.  She travels regularly to Thailand to conduct research and visit family.  In 2007 she led a University of Minnesota-TC learning abroad seminar to Thailand. 


Course Objectives/Outcomes


Conceptual Outline/Topics

Topics to be examined include the basic concepts of international exchange of healthcare providers, training and patients. Students will be expected to juxtapose the management of healthcare, cultural influences, and family resources and needs.


Methods of Evaluating Student Achievement

Presentations, journals, discussions, pre/post/in-country activity participation, final paper


Additional Rationale or Supporting Information

This course will be count in the group B category for Health Care Management Majors (Duluth campus) and as an upper-level elective for undergraduate and supporting program elective for graduate students in Family Social Science (Twin Cities campus – Catherine Solheim PhD)


Course Structure

The course will incorporate lecture, observation, discussions and hands on experiences.  Framing questions will be posed for each learning activity to help students make sense of their experience.  Group discussion at regular intervals will provide space for learners to synthesize and make meaning of what they’ve heard, observed and experienced.  Because this is a central aspect of the course, participation will contribute to the final course grade. . Participation requires walking and physical stamina. The course relies on full participation in the in-country Thailand experience Therefore; active participation in all planned activities is required.


Course Requirements

Participation in planned learning activities in Thailand                                                          20%

Attendance at pre-travel orientation and post-travel reorientation activities                        10%

Regular journal/blog participation and group discussion                                                        35%

(Guiding questions will be supplied by faculty at a later date.)

Final paper summarizing the experience within the framework of students’ disciplines       35%



Grading Scale



Percent of  total points available




80 to <90%


70 to <80%


60 to < 70%





Use of WEBCT

Blogs/journals may be submitted via WEBVista or via the UM Library’s UThink system.

Any plagiarism or cheating will result in a zero grade for that assignment.


Ethical Conduct
Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be treated according to University policy (http://www.d.umn.edu/catalogs/current/umd/policies.html). All infractions will be reported to the academic integrity office.


Learning in another country represents a unique “classroom” environment.  Moreover, participating as a group in an intense three-week experience creates personal responses and interpersonal interactions that are typically not experienced in on-campus classroom settings.  Therefore, it is important to know that respectful interaction is expected.  Conflicts may arise but involved parties are expected to respectfully come to a resolution.  In the case that this is not possible, instructors will mediate the interaction.


Behavior that respects Thailand culture is expected.  Modest dress and decorum are cultural norms.  Students who do not respect these cultural norms will be reminded once by the instructors.  If dress and/or behaviors do not improve, students may be asked to return home at their own expenses.


Any disruptive activity in that interferes with others' ability to see, hear, think or work is unacceptable. Please be polite. If someone else's conduct poses problems for you, please inform me immediately. If you repeatedly interrupt other’s learning and/or behaviors do not improve, students may be asked to return home at their own expenses.


Special Arrangements/Facilities
Individuals who have any disability, either permanent or temporary, which might affect their ability to perform in trip, are encouraged to inform the instructor prior to the trip. Adaptation of methods, materials or testing may be made as required to provide for equitable participation. It is your responsibility to contact the Disability Service and Resources and the IEO for advice regarding adaptations.


WEBCT Disclosure

In this class, our use of technology will sometimes make students' names and U of M Internet IDs visible within the course website, but only to other students in the same class. Since we are using a secure, password-protected course website, this will not increase the risk of identity theft or spamming for anyone in the class. If you have concerns about the visibility of your Internet ID, please contact me for further information.



Read prior to orientation

Culture Shock! Thailand: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Paperback)

by Robert Cooper


Read additional articles about Thailand family structure, nutrition, healthcare and medical tourism as assigned.


Tentative Itinerary for Dec 28-Jan 16, 2010





Sa/Sun Dec 26-27

Travel (arrive ~midnight on the 27th)


Student faculty responsible for own arrangements.

M December 28  

a.m. BKFST and welcome

Guided tour of BKK 

ISP to arrange tour



p.m. Orientation (Course objectives reviewed, schedule discussion, expectations outlined, questions)            

ISP to arrange conference room

Faculty to deliver


Dec 29 and 30

am. Samut Songkhram ProvinceIntegrative health care @ Domnoensaduak Hospital

pm. Principles, Massage, Lunch

Community-based education programs/micro-enterprise

a.m. Floating Market (commercial and traditional)

p.m. Fishing village experience

Family stay

ISP arranges transport by bus to, from and around that region for these two days


CS to arrange with local org.

TH Dec 31

Healthcare system overview – mid-morning  Bangkok Hospital Medical Center

Lecture on mental health issues in Thailand

ISP arranges transfer to Bangkok (early), transport to BHMC, and lecturer from BHMC

May need transport for MH lecture TBD.



Faculty to arrange early afternoon MH lecture

F Jan 1

Students on their own



S Jan2

a.m. Snake Farm (Thai red cross and vaccinations)

p.m. lecture on Traditional Medical and Massage School @ Wat Po

ISP arranges transportation and tours

 at snake farm and Wat Po



Or CS?

Su Jan 3

a.m. Week-end Market (Directed observation)

pm debrief

ISP arranges transport


M Jan 4

a.m. Transfer to Chiang Rai

p.m. Kun Dtoh Meal and Lecture: Northern culture, Health, nutrition, and food traditions research @ Rachapat University

ISP arranges air transport.

Bus needed around town

CS to arrange with University

T Jan 5

All day: Hmong Village Trip (stop at Opium Museum & Golden Triangle)

ISP to arrange transport and opium museum

CS to arrange Hmong village trip

W Jan 6

Students on their own – Days trips available to for example Laos, trekking, elephant farm, waterfall, temples



Th Jan 7

a.m. Transfer to Chiang Mai

p.m. Overview of city and region (conference room)

ISP arranges air transport

Day bus tour?

Faculty responsible for overview

F Jan 8

All day: HIV-AIDS work (village visit)

Bus needed

CS to arrange with site

S Jan 9

All day: Cooking School

ISP to arrange


Su Jan 10


Afternoon off

ISP to arrange air transport


M Jan 11

a.m. Preparation for Buddhist temple experience (conference room)

p.m. and overnight: Wat Panya Nuntahram

ISP to arrange transport

CS to arrange with location

T Jan 12

a.m.  Grand Palace


pm  NGO/ARC orientation

ISP to arrange for transport and grand palace tour



JK to arrange NGO/ARC orientation

W Jan 13

all day: Service-learning at Duang Prateep Foundation and Slum Child Care

Bus needed

CS to arrange

Th Jan 14

a.m. Presentation on traditional and modern health systems Mahidol University (per ISP)

p.m. Final course reflections (conference room)

Farewell dinner


ISP to arrange transport and lecture


ISP to arrange for conference room

Restaurant reservation for dinner




F Jan 15

Final day free prior to departure



S Jan 16

Travel home