Global Health and Medical Anthropology

I chose this intersection of global health and medical anthropology because global/ public health is where my heart lies. I hope to get into a public health graduate program coming up in the next year or so. I am particularly interested in education and community practice of public and global health. Prevention of certain diseases/ epidemics on a worldwide scale are what really interest me. I believe that in order to slow down/ wipe out these certain diseases and things we have to educate everyone on how to control them and how to stop the spreading. Taking on an anthropological approach is useful when, working for a provider in this area of healthcare who is not an anthropologist, in many ways. In the first lecture we heard that anthropologists primarily think locally about things, but then we started to discuss globalization and it was defined as processes that are intensifying worldwide social relations and interdependence. Globalization also considers the complex interactions between cultures, economic systems, political organizations and planetary ecology. An anthropologist and their ideas of globalization has some advantages to health and healthcare; it allows people to communicate ideas of healing across great distances, and also introduces new medical forms and technologies into local communities that need them. The article on anthropologists and the public health agenda is also a good reference as to why having an anthropological outlook amongst those who do not have one is a big advantage in the healthcare world. Anthropologists within the CDC for example have their hands in feet in a lot of things such as basic research, implementing public health education/ intervention programs, and conducting methods work and laboratory activities. All in all using such anthropological takes give one a much more inclusive look into healthcare because they are applying so much to what they do, whereas someone who does not have such an approach may be only scratching the surface of what they are studying or treating, etc.

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  1. Melissa Brown says:

    Hello Obrienry! I was reading your post and I found it to be very interesting. I agree with everything that you have said about global health and medical anthropology. Taking on an anthropological approach is very useful for providers who work in global health but are not anthropologist. Individuals who specialize in global health are responsible for spreading knowledge about world epidemics and helping to find cures or solutions for these epidemics. As I mentioned in my post, not all anthropologist limits their studies or observations to local areas. The methods that anthropologist use will help individuals specializing in global health. By taking an anthropological approach, they will be able to help treat or cure some of the epidemic diseases while spreading knowledge; raising awareness and finding solutions. There are some other ways that medical anthropologist can contribute to global health. Medical anthropologists do not limit their studies to one individual. Health issues such as diseases, are usually examined or studied within a culture. Due to this, medical anthropologist can assist with letting individuals who work in global health know about health issues that are on the rise and spreading rapidly. The best part about taking an anthropological approach is there are several medical anthropologists and every study that is completed by them is published. So even if they are not studying a particular disease or illness on a global scale, there is another medical anthropologist studying the same issue in another culture.

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