Teaching

Dr. Brunger reading a book.Graduate Teaching

My graduate teaching takes place within the Division of Community Health & Humanities in the Faculty of Medicine.
I teach and supervise students in the PhD, MSc, and MHE programmes. In my supervision of graduate students, I emphasise peer support, emotional safety, self-reflection, and the ‘flat hierarchy’ of cooperative learning approaches.

Graduate Courses

Critical Theory in Society and Health (MED 6102)

This course provides an in-depth examination of critical theory in relation to society and health. We focus especially on how different theoretical perspectives frame ‘illness’, ‘health’, ‘healing’, or ‘medicine’ as objects of study. We explore questions raised by technologies upon which the practice of contemporary medicine depends, with attention to questions concerning the status of ‘the body’. This course focuses in particular on critical perspectives and the connections among power, knowledge, and practice in health and medicine.

I offer reading courses in the extended Spring/Summer session. Topics have included:

Postcolonial Theory: Considering the “Other” in Science, Medicine and Bioethics 

This course acquaints learners with postcolonial theory and methodologies that consider the “Other” in relation to science, medicine, and bioethics. It emphasises identity and power, specifically in relation to decolonizing and degendering theories, and includes consideration of whether and how those writing from privileged identities and social locations can write about the “Other”. This course is useful for students whose work focuses on gender, race, class, indigeneity, (dis)ability, sexuality, or globalization. Theorists whose work will be examined offer critiques in the areas of: science and technology studies; social studies of medicine; and bioethics.

Culture and Power in Science and Medicine: Readings in Critical Interpretive Medical Anthropology                                                                   

Through the study of key texts in the field of Medical Anthropology, with specific attention to analyses of culture in its relation to power, this course provides learners with a foundation in the “critical interpretive” approach within medical anthropology and within the broader field of social studies of science and medicine. Topics include: culture in relation to power; writing and representing culture and power; biomedicine as a cultural system; bodies as symbols; medical pluralism; and governmentality and biopolitics. 

Indigeneity and Bioethics                                                                                       

Recent and emerging ethical issues related to Indigenous health are covered in this course. Specific topics include: context of colonialism and health with a focus on power and Indigeneity; cross-cultural clinical ethics, with a focus on Indigenous concepts of wellness in the context of colonialism; and the ethics of research involving Indigenous communities, including decolonizing methodologies. The learner will gain a working knowledge of the literature relevant to understanding contemporary ethical issues in Indigenous health, health care, and health research.

Critical Race Theory: Race and Slavery in Medicine and Public Health 

Using historical primary sources as well as critical secondary sources, this course employs critical race theory through particular attention to the historical role played by slavery, colonialism, and other racist policies in the development of medicine and public health. Course material also explores the enduring legacy of this history as evidenced by implicit and explicit racialist/racialising policies in the contemporary context. Learners will develop skills in reading, understanding, and applying critical race theory to the study of social phenomena related to health, science, medicine, public health, and bioethics.

Undergraduate Medicine

My colleagues and I design and deliver the bioethics curriculum for undergraduate medical students. As part of that curriculum I have created a module on “Diversity, Culture, and Ethics”, which is described in the paper Guidelines for Teaching Cross-Cultural Ethics.

Early on in my teaching career, a family physician and I initiated the MUN MED Gateway Programme, which provides service learning opportunities for medical students working with new Canadians. 

I am responsible for the ethics content of the Global Health Office’s pre-departure training for students volunteering overseas.

Postgraduate Medicine

My colleagues and I provide ethics education for all of the residency programs, including an “Ethics 101” refresher training for all PGY1s. Specific topics that I have designed and delivered include: Cross-Cultural Ethics; Research Ethics; Medical Aid in Dying; Ethical Issues in Pediatrics; Ethical Issues in Neonatology; Advanced Directives; and Ethical Issues in General Surgery, among others.

Graduate Student Supervision

PhD Students

Thesis supervisor, Jinelle Ramlackhansingh (PhD, 2016 –) “Curricula, Resistance and Professionalism Among Undergraduate Medical Students”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

  • Memorial University Faculty of Medicine Deans Fellowship Award, 2018-2020, $40,000.
  • Memorial University School of Graduate Studies Dean’s Excellence Award, 2018-2020, $10,000.

Thesis supervisor, Valerie Webber (PhD, 2016 – ) “Public Privates: Measure B, Pornographic Sex, and the Ethics of Public Health”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship, 2017-2020, $105,000.
  • Memorial University Dean's Excellence Award, 2017-2020, $15,000.
  • Memorial University F.A. Aldrich Fellowship, 2016-2018, $40,000.
  • Memorial University Dean's Doctoral Award, 2016-2020, $20,000.
  • Memorial University Graduate Studies Award, 2016-2020, $24,000.
  • Colman Graduate Student Award, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University, 2019, $500.
  • Memorial University Community Health and Humanities Divisional Award, 2016, $6000.

Thesis co-supervisor, Kimberly Dreaddy (PhD, 2018 – ) “Harm Reduction as an Essential Component of a Strategy for Managing Infective Endocarditis Associated with Intravenous Drug Use”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

  • President’s Doctoral Student Investment Fund (PDSIF), 2018-2022, $30,000.
  • Dr. Shree Mulay Award in Community Health and Humanities, 2018-2019, $6,000.
MSc Students

Thesis supervisorSyaket Shakil (MSc) “Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in Undergraduate Medical Education”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

  • Translational & Personalized Medicine Initiative/NL SUPPORT Educational Funding, 2017-2020, $54,000.
  • Memorial University Dean's Award, 2017-2019, $12,000.

Thesis supervisor, Ashley Hong (MSc) “Women’s Narratives from the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre: Using Digital Storytelling to Understand the Meaning of Violence”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

  • Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network (SSHRC), 2014-2016, $15,000.

Thesis co-supervisor, Christine Shearer (MSc) “How Traditional Aboriginal Health Methods Can Increase Positive Health Outcomes in Aboriginal Communities”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

  • Garden River ON, First Nations Fellowship, 2012-2015, $36,000.

Thesis supervisor, Chris Olsen (MSc) “Refugee Blues: A Critical Examination of the Interim Federal Health Program”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research (NLCAHR) Master’s Award, 2014, $5,000.
MHE Students

Master’s supervisor, Ijeoma Staunton (MHE, non-thesis option), Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Master’s supervisor, Meghan Curtis (MHE, non-thesis option), Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Master’s supervisor, Rachel Hewitt (MHE, non-thesis option), Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Master’s supervisor, Jennifer Mackey (MHE, non-thesis option), Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Master’s supervisor, Amnesty Cornelius (MHE, non-thesis option), Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Previous Students

Thesis supervisor, Barbara Mason (MHE 2018), “Palliative and End of Life Care for People with Dementia in NL”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Thesis co-supervisorZack Marshall (PhD 2018), “Documenting Research with Transgender, Gender Non-binary, and Other Gender Diverse (Trans) People: An Evidence Map and Ethical Analysis”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Thesis co-supervisor, Karine Bernard (MSc 2018), “Beyond Food: Contribution of a Community Kitchen and a School-based Community Garden to the Well-being, Sense of Belonging, and Cultural and Linguistic Identity of Francophones and Francophiles Living in St. John’s, Newfoundland”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Thesis supervisor, Sheila Marchant-Short, (PhD 2017) [part-time], “The Experience of Health Care Workers as Second Victims of Adverse Events”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Master’s supervisor, Brittany Chubbs (MHE, non-thesis option, 2017), Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Thesis supervisor, Sonya Bowen (MSc 2017), “An Inquiry into Stigma within Mental Healthcare Policy”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Thesis supervisor, Melody Morton-Ninomiya (PhD 2015), “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Finding and Connecting the Dots in Newfoundland and Labrador”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University (Distinction). 

Master’s supervisor, Philmona Kebedom (MHE, non-thesis option, 2014), Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University

Thesis co-supervisor, Ashley Patten (MSc 2014), “How is Self-mutilation Constructed? An Examination of Discourses of Gender, the Body, and Risk in the DSM and by Psychiatrists”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Thesis supervisor, April Manuel (PhD 2013), “Constructing the Meaning of Being at Risk: The Experiences of Individuals Living in Families At Risk for Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Thesis supervisor, Valerie Darmonkow (MSc 2012), “Medical Geneticists’ Perspectives on Barriers Towards Access and Uptake of Genetic Services”, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Memorial University.

Thesis co-supervisor, Julie Bull (MSc 2008), “Aboriginal Ethics and the Politics of Risk in the Labrador Context”, Division of Community Health and Humanities (ARTC Training Programme), Memorial University. 

Supervisor, Jill Allison (PDF January 2010- January 2012), “Embodied Risk: Social and Political Identity Formation Associated with Genetic Diagnosis in Newfoundland and Labrador; Aspects of Social and Political Equality Based on Access to Medical Care and Technology in Rural Communities in Newfoundland and Labrador”, Memorial University.

Contact

Bioethics

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000