‘Becoming American’ from the California Newsreel Documentary Series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? – A Discussion Guide for Health Professional Students

Date of Review: May, 2019

‘Becoming American’ is a 28-minute film segment from the 7-episode documentary series: Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick. This episode explores phenomena related to changes in health status among immigrant populations by following recent Mexican immigrants (in better health than the average American) and showing how this trend reverses over time. Becoming American also explores protective factors in social networks, particularly among new immigrant communities. The small-group discussion guide consists of goals, learning objectives, suggested readings, references, and 10 discussion questions. As the authors note, this resource could be used to supplement curriculum resources on immigrant health, history taking, and interpreter use. This resource could be useful in a variety of settings, but was originally implemented with dental, medical, nursing, and public health students at the University of Maryland. For additional resources you can visit this webpage: https://www.pbs.org/unnaturalcauses/hour_01.htm – Katy Wright, PhD NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:



University of Maryland

Where Was the Curriculum Implemented?

Baltimore, MD and College Park, MD

Source of the Curriculum/Resource:


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