Thoughts on a global health textbook?

On August 12, 2009, in education, global health, NYU, by Karen Grepin

I am busy pulling together the syllabus for my new course “Introduction to Global Health Policy”, which will mostly be offered to NYU-Wagner Master’s students and likely some students in the University-wide Global Public Health Master’s Program at NYU as well. The course is designed to be introductory and multidisciplinary in nature and aims to introduce the basic language and frameworks used Global Health discourse and will investigate a number of current debates.

While it has been a lot of fun – reliving my favorite courses in global health during my Master’s at the Harvard School of Public Health and courses I took during my doctoral studies at Harvard as well as going through my list of favorite readings – it has also been a lot of work as well.

One of my biggest struggling points is whether I should require a textbook, and if so, which one. When I took most of these courses no such textbook existed, but since then a number of books have come on the market and I am considering which might be best for this course.

I’ll probably end up including a lot of readings from the Disease Control Priorities Book – they are well researched, comprehensive, informative – and freely downloadable off the internet – but I am starting to feel as though some of them are a bit outdated (what does it say when a 2006 publication seems old?). I am also considering including Millions Saved as I plan to investigate many of the cases in this excellent publication.

I’ve TAed a course that used “International Public Health: Diseases, Programs, Systems and Policies” by Merson, Black, and Mills. Despite the star power among the authors in this book, but I am not sure how appropriate it is for Master’s level students.

Has anyone had any experience with either of these books?

1. Essentials of Global Health by Richard Skolnik?

2. Introduction to Global Health by Kathryn Jacobson?

Have you been a student who has used any of these books? Have you been an instructor that has used or considered using these books? Are you the author and want to tell me all about why your books is the best? If so, do email me at at Any and all feedback or suggestions would be most appreciated – including other books or an argument for no books.

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3 Responses to “Thoughts on a global health textbook?”

  1. Zohray Talib, MD says:

    The Case Studies book is excellent with well-chosen examples, a variety of areas of intervention and thought-provoking comments on principles that link the cases together. I am using this book as material for a lecture I'm giving to some of my residents.

    Another good book is this one:

    It's thick, but if you want to read on a particular topic, it's very thorough and current.

    Hope this helps.
    Zohray Talib

  2. AB says:

    Millions Saved is a favorite because it is solutions oriented and one motivation for the book was to demonstrate success by global health practitioners to Congress for funding purposes.

  3. Adam says:

    i really Appreciate
    your effort

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