Clinical Medical Anthropology

I chose the topic of clinical medical anthropology to do more research on. This subject applies to my personal life because I hope to one day attend medical school and become a pediatrician. At first I would most likely work in a hospital, but would one day like to own my own practice. I will want to make sure that not only each child I am treating is as comfortable in their surroundings as possible, but also want their parents to be able to trust me while treating their child. Living in a country with so much diversity and culture, I believe that it is very important to incorporate each individuals/family’s beliefs and needs into my practices. Having the ability to make connections with individual patients is a great skill to have in the field of medicine.

If I was working for a provider in a clinical setting that was not an anthropologist, I would make sure to do my best to provide each patient with the specific care they want/ need. The article from this weeks lesson, called “Anthropology in the Clinic: The Problem of Cultural Competency and How to Fix It,” tells us that providers should incorporate cultural factors that “shape health-related beliefs, behaviors, and values.” This includes the beliefs in how patients will get diagnosed and treated for their illness. Many people across the U.S have very different practices and ways to deal with certain illnesses and those practices must be taken into account. Like the lecture from this week says, no one is a blank slate and we have to consider biological, psychological, social, and last but not least, cultural factors. A clinical medical anthropologist would be able to give insight on how culture can play a role in medicine, which would overall create a better experience for patients and professionals alike.



Lecture 6.1

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