Research & Evaluation

NHH 650

NHH 650: Introduction to Health Disparities Research in the Field is a newly created course for second year Medical students currently offered during the second half of  MD5 (8 week summer session).

Course Description:

This 4-week course introduces students to the science of health disparities focused on Hawaiʻiʻs unique population and environment. Students learning experience may include any of the following: didactic lectures, learning how to efficiently review and critically evaluate scientific literature, and/or exposure to community research partners “in the field.” Students will receive mentorship from faculty currently working on studies addressing health disparities to improve health equity for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations. Students will be evaluated based on the following: a review of the literature on a specific topic in health disparities research (e.g., disparity in morbidity or mortality; disparity in access to health services, research, or health promotion programs; disparity in determinants of health and wellbeing)  that identifies current gaps in the literature and proposes future research that could fill the identified gaps and help to address the health disparity, post curricular evaluation and a PowerPoint presentation delivered to peers, staff and faculty at the end of the course. This course is credit/no-credit (i.e. pass/no-pass).  If a student is informed of marginal performance, s/he is required to meet with one or more of the instructors to ascertain deficiencies and formulate a remedial plan to successfully complete the course.



  1. Develop a basic skill set to conduct health disparities research approaches.
  2. Gain key principles of community-engaged research and its application among Native Hawaiians, Pacific Island People and other racial/ethnic health disparity groups in Hawaiʻi.
  3. Develop and practice scientific writing and/or presentation of a chosen health disparities research topic or experience.

For more information on the course, contact Kim Spencer at or  Mona Cardejon at