Biological Approach

I think that the Biological Approach will be the most useful to me in studying health. I feel that the Biological approach covers many factors that can influence an individual, such as their environment, their genetics, and even personal choices that they make. I believe that these three factors are very important to an individual’s health, and it is for this reason that I believe the Biological Approach will be the most useful. I do not believe that the other approaches will not be useful, just that the Biological Approach will be the most useful.

I do not believe there is a distinction between disease and illness. I believe that the difference is effectively a matter of semantics, since there is not a universally accepted definition for the difference between the two. If I had to make a distinction, I would say that illness refers to the patient’s perception of his or her disease, or that illness refers more to the symptoms and visible effects of the disease, while the term disease refers more to the overall condition.

I believe that Miner is talking about American culture in the Nacirema article. I first came to suspect this when it was mentioned that their folk hero chopped down a cherry tree. I was much surer of this after reading the third paragraph, which mentions that the Nacirema have a highly developed market economy and engage in many ritual activities.

The three rituals I decided to talk about from the article are the box of charms and potions acquired from medicine men, the holy-mouth-men, and the latipso. The box of charms and the medicine men that provide them represent prescription medicine in our health care system. In our health care system, one must pay for a doctor’s visit (whether through insurance or out of pocket) to receive a prescription, and then pay for the prescription as well. In the Nacerima culture, the prospective patient must give a gift to both the medicine man and the herbalist. Our system does not always do a good job of keeping the patient informed of decisions, and this is represented by the Nacerima’s people fear to use medicine on their own owing to the fact that they cannot remember what they are used for. The Holy-Mouth-Men clearly represent dentists. In the Nacerima article, the natives willingly visit a holy-mouth-man once or twice a year despite the pain it puts them through, believing that the holy-mouth-man can prevent tooth decay. While the article heavily satirizes the effectiveness of dentists, it is true that few people enjoy visiting the dentist but go anyway because they believe that it will keep their teeth health. The final ritual I will talk about is the latipso. This represents a hospital. What stuck out for me was the mention that the treatments are incredibly harsh, and that it is considered a place where people go to die by the uninitiated. This is clearly a reference to heroic medicine and the harsh treatments of old that were the norm for the majority of medical history, and to the fact that for the majority of the existence of medicine it did not really help people in any appreciable way.

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