I choose Global Health and Medical Anthropology because it is a subject that interests me and one that I feel needs more attention. This type of medical anthropology focuses on the cultural, political and socioeconomic factors that revolve around health and healthcare around the world in both industrialized and developing countries. I have always been interested in why some cultures are able to provide a large degree health care to their citizens, while others in similar situations are unable to do the same. The cultural and political factors are of particular interest to me, since they shape the countries entire perception of health care and thus how the medical system is utilized. And although a biomedical approach might be considered best by most westernized people, these factors can either steer the population to embrace this approach or to find a different one that suits them.
In working for a non-anthropologist healthcare provider, there are several ways that an anthropological approach could benefit the patients. The most important way is by helping the patient and the provider to understand one another. By understanding the cultural, political and socioeconomic factors that affect the patient, the provider much more likely to be able to foster trust between himself and the patient, and to be able to develop a treatment plan suitable for the patient. A good example of where this could help was mentioned in the lectures concerning Malaria and how the nets meant to keep out mosquitos were be being ignored or improperly used. If anthropological skills had been put in use, the healthcare providers may have foreseen the problems of the nets and attempted to come up with a more viable solution. The patient’s entire lifestyle, not just their bodily health, needed to be considered, since it was being affected. This type of approach would also help the provider discern whether the patient is likely to comply with a treatment, what subjects are taboo and what factors might prevent the restoration of good health.