The ethnomedical approach examine medical systems to understand illness in different societies. The ethnomedical approach will benefit me because the United States is a diverse country; therefore when I become a physician I will be able to relate and understand patients from different cultural backgrounds. The ethnomedical approach reveals protocols that different societies use for seeking treatment and identifying illness.
My definition of disease is a condition that causes a change in physical function or infection diagnosed by a physician. Illness is human experiences and interpretations of the changes in their health. I became confused while determining the definition of illness because sometimes a person’s symptoms are not classified as a disease. After viewing the lecture again, I understood why disease and illness are two subcategories of sickness.
I first realized that Miner was describing the American culture when he stated that the culture had a highly developed market economy and much of the people’s time was devoted to economic pursuits. Miner stated that the people seek out the holy-mouth-man once or twice a year. The ritual symbolizes Americans that go to the dentist at least once a year to get their teeth cleaned to prevent diseases and tooth decay. Miner described a common problem among Americans, which is tooth decay or cavities. Minor stated that the medicine men have temples called latipso ceremonies that treat very sick people. Minor was symbolizing American hospitals. He described how some Americans fear the hospital, when he stated that some people believe that the temple is where people go to die. Minor described the American health care system when he stated that guardians of the temple will not admit a client if he cannot give a rich gift. American hospitals require health insurance or a patient to agree to pay a bill later.