‘In Sickness and in Wealth’ 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

In the opener of a 7-episode documentary series, this video explores the connections between health, wealth, race and social class. This episode, ‘In Sickness and in Wealth,’ follows a CEO, a lab supervisor, a janitor, and an unemployed mother in Louisville, Kentucky to draw attention to disparities along the health-wealth gradient. It could be used as a standalone resource or in conjunction with other episodes of the Unnatural Causes series. The companion guide highlights key concepts in the film and facilitates discussion around social determinants of health. Recommended reading and additional resources are also provided. This activity was designed for a 90-minute, small-group setting with medical and other health professions learners. The authors recommend selecting facilitators with previous training in health disparities, and suggest providing discussion questions to learners in advance. 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:


Level of Learner Assessment

Appreciation of content/attitude assessment (self-reflection, blogging with rubric)

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