Course structure and Meet the Team

Medical peace work is a vast field of practice, and this course will give you a brief overview of the principles.

Although medical peace work is not strictly a medical specialty (like cardiology or surgery), the lessons it offer are much broader. In fact, a basic understanding of violence prevention and peace practice is highly relevant for all healthcare practitioners - no matter where they work or what position they hold. This course will give you an overview of some key concepts and dilemmas in this field. You will be taught by educators who are experienced in the theory, field work, and advocacy aspects of medical peace work.

The course is divided into three weeks:

  • Week 1: Domestic violence
  • Week 2: Refugee health
  • Week 3: Healing torture victims

Each week is designed to take around 2-4 hours of study, which totals to 6-12 hours across the 3 weeks of this course. Each week covers a very different topic, and you may find yourself spending more or less time on a particular topic, depending on your interests and experience. We will help you make connections between the 3 topics, and understand them within the framework of medical peace work.

The big-picture question: what does peace have to do with health?

Each week is separated into approximately 20 discrete steps. So you can choose to study all the steps in a single sitting; or work through 2-3 steps in 15 minute breaks over lunch; or spread the workload over any time period which suits you.

Meet the Team

This course will be taught by a core team of two educators, assisted by experts/facilitators who have experience working in the scenarios that are discussed.

Ingvild Fossgard Sandøy is the lead educator of the course and conducts research in public health and is based at the University of Bergen (Norway). Her interest is in sexual and reproductive health and interpersonal violence. She was a co-editor of the Medical Peace Work textbook published in 2012.

Klaus Melf is Chief Medical Officer at Bjørnafjorden Municipality (Norway). Over the past two decades he has studied the long tradition of medical engagement against war, weapons and violence. He is the driving force behind this course, and was the lead author of the Medical Peace Work textbook published in 2012.

Stefi Barna teaches global health and development studies at Azim Premji University in Bangalore (India).

Frank Arnold is a retired surgeon and biomedical researcher. He now works on forensic documentation of torture and other human rights abuses, and is a trustee of

Katharina Bögel is a consultant at Medical Mission Institute Würzburg and has a M.A. in Humanitarian Action. She is involved in refugee health care (organisation & coordination).

Elisabeth M. Strømme is a medical doctor and PhD-candidate doing research on migrant and refugee health.

Let’s hear from you - please introduce yourself!

Before we start with a brief introduction in peace and conflict theory, let’s get to know each other better. Use the comment space below to tell us a bit about yourself, which country you come from and your motivations for doing this course. What are your skills, strengths and experiences in this area? What would you like to learn more about?

New to FutureLearn?

If you are new to FutureLearn, reading this guide will help you better understand how it works.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Addressing Violence Through Patient Care

University of Bergen

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: