By culture of biomedicine we mean that we are looking at biomedicine from an anthropological standpoint. Biomedicine is the major authoritative system that people use for treatment in western culture. It uses scientific and biological factors, like genetics and physiology, to treat disease and illness on the belief that it operates on what is truth. The culture of biomedicine has been studied by looking at its history, its language, and the rituals observed. An example of this is when a person feels sick they go to the doctor for a diagnosis, and then they receive a prescription for treatment. Of course there are non-biological factors like politics, individual choice, and environment also have a role in health and disease.
I think dichotomies are necessary to have full understanding of health and illness in biomedicine. The doctor/patient dichotomy is necessary to show that each has their role. The patient seeks the doctor for help in treating their illness. The patient expects the doctor to make a diagnosis when they feel something is not right. This is because in western society, we see doctors as being so much greater than the standard citizen. This is also the case in many cultures, where the healer has a higher social standing within the society.
In today’s society there is often an overlap in which the patient becomes the doctor, so to speak. With access to the internet and through television, people feel that they have the ability to “self diagnosed”, which can in turn lead to over medication. This leads back to the point made where people expect a prescription when receiving a diagnosis from their health care professional. As mentioned in the lecture video, media outlets and propaganda can have significant impacts on medicine. People can get on a website, check off their symptoms, and get a list of things that could possibly be wrong with them, like the Medicalization of Menstruation video demostrates with PMDD.