I chose the ethnomedical approach as the most fitting for me in studying medicine for a number of reasons. I desire to work in underserved areas in which there may be a great difference between what I perceive health to be and what such communities perceive health to be, and variations between the approach taken to deal with these perception. With different cultures having differences in health models, I feel it is important to approach all situations with that in mind. Although something may seem completely irrational to me, it may make perfect sense a patient, and it will be important for me to have already made this realization in order to provide the best care possible for whatever the situation may be.
I feel as though the distinction between disease and illness is difficult to make, but makes sense after this is accomplished. I think it is difficult to make in that initial thought provokes the two to have the same meaning. The “illness without disease” and “disease without illness” examples from lecture helped me with distinguishing between the two.
I’ll admit that I did not recognize right away that Miner was referencing American society in the article, but as I moved along I began to realize. The thought initially came to mind upon reading the paragraph starting with the sentence, “The fundamental belief underlying the whole system appears to be that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease.” As he proceeded to describe the rituals I began to catch on.
One ritual that I thought was interesting was that of the “shrine box” built into the wall filled with magical remedies, representing our medicine cabinet. We stand in front of the mirror obsessing over looks, and consume remedies of which only the “medicine man” or doctor knows the components of. The other that I found interesting was the mouth ritual. This represents going to the dentist and the importance of good teeth in American society. These rituals explain what is valued as healthy in American society, and I enjoyed Miner’s tactics for demonstrating these values.