Of all of the approaches described in lecture two, I believe that the ethnomedical approach will be most useful to me while studying health. I decided on the ethnomedical approach because it is such a prevalent issue today all around the world. Although I believe all of the approaches are important, I chose the ethnomedical approach because I believe it is especially important to cater and respect one’s beliefs while still providing the best possible care for their illnesses. Eventually in my career, I want to travel as a pediatrician and help care for children in other countries. Understanding the views and beliefs of other cultures will allow me to be successful and care for my patients the best that I can.
Before this class, I thought disease and illness were interchangeable and relatively the same thing. Now, I understand that disease is something that physically effects the body and an illness is more of something that effects the mind and a person’s emotions. The examples of disease without illness and also illness without disease from the lecture really helped me to understand the difference between the two.
The culture Miner was discussing is the American culture. I first was curious when I noticed that the “Nacirema” culture is simply American spelled backwards. When Miner described that the culture was located between the Canadian Cree, the Yanqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Antilles, it solidified that he was talking about America.
The “holy-mouth-men” talked about in the article were dentists. At first, the procedures described sounded terribly painful and disgusting. It just goes to show how much Americans care about their appearance and how much they value their self presentation.
Another ritual discussed in the article was the “latispo,” which turned out to mean hospital. It was shocking to read and come to the realization that people are denied health care and life-saving surgeries because they cannot afford to pay for them. In the article, money was referred to as a ‘gift.’ I think this accurately portrays the faults in American medicine today.