Clinical Medical Anthropology

I chose clinical anthropology because I feel that it is very important as far as management and improving the healthcare system. It is something that is very near and dear to my heart. For example, some people have medicaid or medicare, which is the “government” type of insurance. Therefore, there are a lot of doctors that do not take that type of insurance. It makes it a bit harder on the patient to have to search for doctors that take that particular type of insurance.

Sometimes it is also difficult for a patient to even go see a doctor because of clinical hours interfering with their job schedules. These are all problems that medical anthropologists take into consideration when practicing clinical medical anthropology. Their job is to try to make solutions to the problems or even make the problem better in certain aspects of it.

If I was a working provider, such as a doctor, it would be good to have these certain anthropological perspective on some of these situations. For example, if a doctor prescribes medicine to a patient for Diabetes, the patient may or may not take the medicine that the doctor has prescribed.

A good anthropological approach to see why the patient is doing this would be considering their insurance situation. Does the patient’s insurance cover this? Does the patient have transportation to get to the pharmacy to get the medicine that they need? The situation could also be psychological. What if the patient does not like poking themselves with needles?

There was an example in lecture that was also used. In Africa, there is a net that they use to protect them from mosquitos and Africans will have less of a chance to get malaria. However, many of them do not use the net because it is uncomfortable to sleep in. Some of them even use it for other things such as coverings for the windows. This is also a big issue and it could be adding to the problem more than being a solution. Clinical anthropology is very interesting to me because they are the ones that get to look at all of these factors and weight out the situation to make it better. Clinical Anthropologists change lives and the paradigms of medicine.


Lecture 6.1 August 10, 2012.

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About Shavon Alexander

My name is Shavon Alexander. I am a Human Development and Family Studies major. I will be a junior in the fall. I am looking forward to learning new things about illness and culture in this class. I plan on going to medical school so I am really excited about this course!

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