– I think the enthomedical approach will be the most interesting and useful to my understanding of health in this course. Studying the wide range of health systems and comparing and contrasting the different ways/approaches they look at health will be very informative and interesting. The differences in how health and illness are explained linguistically, behaviors seeking health and how care is described can be vastly different between cultures. I’m looking forward to more examples of this variation. I think this will help me become a better well rounded PA, who will hopefully have an understanding of the variances in health systems around the world.
Disease is defined as an outward clinical manifestation of altered physical function or infection. The focus is on the physical aspects of the disease. Illness is the human experience and perceptions of alternations in health, as informed by its broader social and cultural contexts. The focus is now on the individual and less on the clinical aspects of the disease. I’m guilty of using disease and illness interchangeably. I never really understood the distinction until now. The illness without disease and the disease without illness pictures gave a good understanding of the distinction.
When the Nacirema culture was characterized by a highly developed market economy which has evolved in a rich natural habitat, I began to think it was the US culture.
The first ritual that interested me was the medicine men and herbalists. The ancient and secret language described in the article shows the lack of understanding and knowledge a patient has about one’s own condition. They just give a “gift” and hope the medicine men and herbalists cure them. The ritual about the oral care mouth-rite was also very interesting and confirmed for me that it was the US culture. The way the article described the hog hairs, and how we return to the holy mouth man year after year made me feel like our healthcare was ancient. It seems like the Nacirema culture is very dependent on “medicine men, herbalists and holy mouth men” without really understanding what they do. The barbaric nature of the article led be to believe the majority are not informed about their healthcare. The article had a very interesting perspective on our culture.