Medical Anthropology and Public Health

I chose this intersection of medical anthropology because as someone who’s studied Philosophy as their major and has taken a Ethics in Public Health care class it’s something I feel I have a little background on. Additionally, both my sister and mother have studied public health administration so I hear a little bit about it in many aspects. I personally would love a career that deals with public health and the ethical dilemmas involved with health care. There are a lot of different methods that may work provided the correct environment. It’s all about finding a balance of what is logical and what suits that population. This directly relates to the field of anthropology. Anthropologists study the science of people. They look at how they interact, what historical atmospheres changed their course of action and how they adapted to that. Decision making processes are examined in anthropology as well as in public health. For instance, if someone managed a hospital they would look at how that society gets sick, why they get sick, what is the best course of treatment as well as what kind of treatment they should provide. These are just some of the decisions that someone managing a hospital would make. Using anthropology to study the society in which that hospital was located in would benefit the manager tremendously.

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  1. phill612 says:

    Hi Ashley,
    I think your analysis of this topic is great and offered other examples that I didn’t think about. In particular I think your example about using a public health perspective to run a hospital is very interesting and a unique perspective. I overlooked that perspective of studying society‚Äôs illness anthropologically and how that would improve the operations of a hospital. However, very logical and obvious I would have to agree and think that is a great example of how to use this knowledge. When I think of public health and epidemiology I initially think of field work. I envision people collecting data about the distribution of a condition and the groups of people that are most affected by or an individual operating regulations at a governmental agency. In my analysis of this topic I incorporated the health disparities we learned about in the United States and how and anthropological perspective to offer a solution to reworking our healthcare system and decreasing these disparities. I chose this because it is such a heavy social topic now a days and I thought it would be interesting to think about. In the study I found it was noted that most people get healthcare coverage through their employer and when the economy started taking a turn for the worse people were losing this coverage. I thought that if anthropologist could take their data and try to change the delivery of coverage in this country it may help improve the populations overall health. A major aspect to overcome would be the attitudes of society and the government that ultimately regulates such things.

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