Ethnomedical Approach

While all six of the approaches are important to the health field I found the Ethnomedical approach to be interesting and less frequently talked about. The Ethnomedical  approach will be helpful to use in the health field because it compares different health systems and takes into account several outlooks of healing and behavior in different cultures. This approach will allow health professionals to compare different health systems and how they work within different cultures to improve future health systems and to provide more care.  Several different approaches need to be used to create specific health care systems to cater to a cultures needs, seeing that every culture has different beliefs and needs.

The difference between disease and illness are now clear to me, but I had used them interchangeably before watching the lectures. Disease being the outward display of a physical altercation or infection. While illness is ones experiences and perception of the disease as seen by their culture. These distinctions were not obvious to me because I feel the common person uses them interchangeably, they are never really defined as having different meanings. The saying illness without disease vs. disease without illness, helped me see the clear difference.

Miner is talking about our American culture in the Nacerima article. I did not realize he was describing our culture until the third paragraph when a developed market economy and focus of the appearance of the human body was described. These are key aspects to our culture that we seem to be consumed with. One ritual that was described that represented the health in our culture is going to see the “holy-mouth-man” and if you did not your teeth would go bad and this would cause everyone to dislike you. This shows the very strong correlation between appearance and relationships with others. If we do not look “healthy” we as a culture do not want to associate with one another. The second ritual that explains our cultures values is the breast implants and reductions. This shows how we use medical technology to try and create a “perfect” body. Yes some breast reductions are health related due to back problems and other issues because of the weight of breasts, but most often it’s for looks. Like the article says dissatisfaction in breast shape is due to trying to reach a ideal state, that is unrealistic.

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