In all honesty, I found it difficult to choose just one approach. Although we haven’t actually studied them yet, they all have their own niches which make them important to the study of medical anthropology. I wanted to choose several as the most important/useful/interesting. However as much as i liked the others, biological seemed the most obvious and/or simplistic choice, because it covers the body/genetics (most of ones health – diseases, etc. -stemming somehow from genetics), the environment (can have a profound effect on ones health & well being), as well as ones mind/life & the choices they make.
The distinction between disease & illness, although commonly interchanged or mixed up within society, is actually quite easy to determine, maybe even obvious. Disease being the physical/biological dysfunction of the body; while Illness is ones perception of this, often the division or seperation from ‘normal’. As simple as this may seem, there is often a mix up, and sometimes even an actual overlap, causing confusion between the difference of the two.
I really enjoyed the article by Miner, I found it interesting and amusing to read such a description of our culture/society. As far as when I knew what the culture was, I was suspicious earlier but was not positive until the sentence about Washington (or Notgnishaw) and the cherry tree. It was a great way to display our culture, and our health care, using ethnography to show the absurdity of a society we concider normal. It was perfect. The “holy-mouth-men”, representing dentists, and the way society tends to feel about them as well as oral hygiene; the ‘latipso’ with its ceremonies, rituals, and gifts, representing hospitals and the healthcare system (great at showing classes/socioeconomic differences & treatment in system); the ‘listeners”, representing the therepists, psychologists, etc., and the stigma attached to them or being a patient of one; ‘medicine men’ obviously signifying doctors, and ‘herbalists’ as pharmacists; also the ‘shrine’ symbolizing the bathroom, ‘rites’ or ‘ceremonies’ preformed daily (or monthly in case of menstration), mixing of ‘holywater’ under the ‘charm-box’, and the privacy, even secrecy held with many ‘rituals’.