I believe that the ethnomedical approach will be the most useful for me during this class, but more importantly in my future in the medical field. Because of my future career plan to be a medical professional, I think it will be essential to have a deep understanding of different health systems, and be able to compare and contrast each to decide what system is best for myself as well as my patients. I will need to be able to explain different types of healing that I can perform for or assist in for my patients, as well as understand what health really is and what health means to my patients.
I think the distinction between disease and illness is a quite obvious one, especially after explained in the lecture. Disease is a diagnosis from a medical professional. Illness, however, is much more complex. It is definitely rooted in physiological principles, but has many other factors such as a patient’s culture, mental state, or environment. Symptoms of illness can be due to a disease, but also these other factors unrelated to the disease, or lack there of.
From the beginning of the article, I suspected they were talking about the American culture; as they were described as living between Canada and Mexico, and have a highly developed market economy in which much time is spent in economic pursuits. It was also another hint that a large focus of the culture is on appearance. My suspicions were completely confirmed, however, when I reached the paragraph describing latipso, which was describing our hospitals.
The ritual describing the temples says so much about our culture. It unveils the public fear of hospitals, and that it isn’t a place of healing, but a place of danger; one in which you go to die. It also represents our economic culture in which no matter how sick someone is, they will not be admitted or treated unless they have insurance, or at least proof that they have the means to pay for their treatment and care. It also describes the secrecy and embarrassment of the human body in American culture. One in which, upon entering a hospital, we are faced with not only physical, but mental trauma as we are forced to give up our privacy in personal matters regarding the human body such as showering.