Excellence in Mentorship & Teaching

Dr. Gonzales believes that educators should equip students and trainees with the knowledge, tools, and skills to effectively transform health care policy, public health, health equity research, and medicine.

His approach to teaching prepares students for the lifelong opportunities and challenges they will face when they enter the public health or the health care workforce.

Professor Gonzales has developed several courses for undergraduate and graduate students, including immersive experiences in public policy and abroad. He also teaches interdisciplinary students and health care trainees how to conduct health equity research.

Current Courses Offered at Vanderbilt University

MHS 2140

Health Care in the United States

This course teaches about the public health and health care delivery systems in the United States. Topics include the history and role of public health and health care providers; trends and challenges among health care industries; evolving health politics and policy; the global COVID-19 pandemic; and comparative health systems.

PPS 3200

Research Methods for Public Policy Analysis

This course provides an overview of research methods commonly used in public policy. Students learn to how to use Stata, publicly available secondary data, and multivariable regression to examine an import public policy issue. Topics range from health disparities, environmental policy, poverty, national security, and education policy.

MHS 1001

LGBTQ Rights, Health & Wellness

This 1-credit seminar provides students an opportunity to discuss LGBTQ+ rights and how public policies like marriage equality, bathroom bills, and non-discrimination protections impact the health and wellness for LGBTQ+ families and individuals.

MHS 3850

Independent Study

I welcome students to dive deeper into a public health topic or to engage in health policy research through independent study. Previous students have conducted research, explored health care management, or learned how to write and publish op-eds. Students can receive 1-3 credits.

Courses Previously Taught at Vanderbilt University

UNIV 3325

Health Policy & Advocacy

Co-taught with Professor Tara McKay, this course teaches students to be more effective participants in debates over health policy by immersing them in the health policy environment, connecting the classroom to students’ everyday lives, and promoting reflective and critical scholarship. Students meet with lawmakers in Nashville, TN.

MHS 3890

Cuba's Health Care System

This course takes students to Miami (Florida) and Havana (Cuba) to learn about US-Cuba relations and Cuba's health care system. While in Cuba, we visit primary care clinics, hospitals, medical schools, maternity homes, and community health organizations.

MHS 3890

Health Care Under the Trump Administration

This course introduces students to the American health care system and how President Trump and his policies have changed U.S. health care and health policy. Topics include plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the COVID-19 pandemic.

HODH 3231

Introduction to Health Services

This course introduces students to health services organization and delivery in the United States with some comparisons to health systems in other countries. In lieu of a final exam, students complete a mock employment interview for an entry-level health care consulting position with Vanderbilt alumni working in Nashville's health care industry.