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TB Notes 1, 2001

TB Education for Undergraduates

"Starting Early: TB Education for Undergraduates" was the title of a brown bag seminar sponsored by the Field Services Branch, DTBE, on February 1, 2001. The speaker, Dr. Richard Fluck, has taught a multidisciplinary, first-year seminar about TB for 2 years at Franklin & Marshall College, a small liberal arts school in Lancaster, PA. The course approaches TB from the perspectives of biology, medicine, sociology, economics, history, epidemiology, public policy, and public health law. Readings include The White Plague: Tuberculosis, Man, and Society (René and Jean Dubos), Core Curriculum on Tuberculosis: What the Clinician Should Know, and five papers from the primary and review literature.

The heart of the course is a semester-long project in which groups of 3-4 students study a topic of their choice and write a pre-proposal, a proposal, a progress report, and a final paper. Topics have included TB vaccines, HIV and TB, pediatric TB, DOTS-Plus as a strategy for treating MDR TB, and the role of public policy in addressing events such as the outbreaks that occurred in New York City in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the ongoing epidemic in Russia.

As a direct outgrowth of the success of this course, Dr. Fluck and his students have launched an effort to gather, develop, and disseminate educational materials about TB in their community. Targeted audiences include patients at a community clinic and those at a comprehensive care clinic for HIV/AIDS, the homeless, and migrant workers. Dr. Fluck is also planning faculty workshops for professors who are interested in teaching similar courses at other institutions. One will be offered at Franklin & Marshall College and another at the National TB Center in Newark, NJ. Dr. Fluck believes that undergraduate students should learn about TB (and public health) early in their careers and that these students and their instructors can be effective partners in the fight against the global TB epidemic.

If you would like a copy of the syllabus for the course or if you have questions or comments for Dr. Fluck, you can contact him in writing (Dept. of Biology, Franklin & Marshall College, P.O.B. 3003, Lancaster, PA 17604-3003 U.S.A.), by telephone (717-291-4152), by fax (717-399-4548), or by e-mail (

-Submitted by Richard A. Fluck, PhD
Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
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