I’ve chosen this area, clinical medical anthropology, since I overall find it quite interesting. My mother was a nurse and my sister is in the process of becoming a physician’s assistant, so I have always grown up with slight medical knowledge. I have a degree in Sociology and have also taken classes on Public Health, from which I have gained knowledge on our health care system and how Westernized medicine, especially with the American health care system vastly differs from other sorts. I feel as though have some sort of Anthropological background as a doctor, since there are people from several different countries and backgrounds. It is incredibly important to respect other individuals that have different values and mindsets than that of the Westernized American. While I don’t believe I’ll be doing anything regarding the medical profession, from the classes I have taken and the knowledge I have gained, I’ve come to learn how our health care system in America is a money game; while we have one of the most expensive systems in the country, we have one of the highest child mortality rates out of any developed nation. In my mind, this is a complete travesty, and all individuals should have access to health care, and be able to afford it. Medical anthropologists advocate for the community and push for greater equality for all and how politics and force of globalizations affect different social institutions. Medical anthropology helps to improve cultural sensitivity. In order to fully understand your patients, you should be sensitive to differences in religion, cultural background, local worlds, and country origin.
Cultural factors are incredibly important in order to diagnosis, treat, and care properly for a patient. An example that was a case scenario listed was about a graduate student from China, in which she developed symptoms of palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue. When she went to receive treatment, tthey diagnosed her with depressive-anxiety disorder, and received antidepressants. While her symptoms got better, they never disappeared and then she dropped out of treatment. After an anthropologist discovered that Lin’s cousin is hospitalized with a mental illness, she can’t even imagine being stigmatized with the disorder. By the anthropologist discussing with Lin abotu how this is considered a stress related condition, the individual decides to receive treatment once again.