The “culture of biomedicine” refers to the beliefs in western society that there is a science behind every organism.  The belief that humans and animals are not composed of spirits or nonchemical substances.  Biomedicine is the advanced understanding of the human body which acknowledges that humans are made up of different organs composed of cells, and that the body will occasionally need medical help in order to go back to a state of equilibrium.  The “culture of biomedicine” is an important belief system because it is the most advanced one in the world today.  Although documentaries such as “Pill Poppers” may make one believe that biomedicine is an elaborate hoax that forces people to spend money on medications that they do not understand or might not even need, it is important to understand that the “culture of biomedicine” is the closest the world has come to fully understanding how the human body works.


I believe that the dichotomy of doctor versus patient has come from the implied value given to a college education.  I was raised to understand that a person goes to a doctor when he is sick because a doctor is the only person who can figure out what is wrong with patient and can prescribe medicine to fix the problem.  This dichotomy was not exactly taught to me, but I picked up from a young age that doctors were people to respect and go to for help.  I also grew up believing that the patient’s role was to follow the doctor’s advice if the patient had any hope of feeling better.  I do not believe that I am the only one who grew up with this understanding of the dichotomy of doctor versus patient.  I believe that this dichotomy was accepted as a logical conclusion in western society because there is proof that doctors have more education than the average patient (due to graduate school).  If a patient believes that he is not as educated as his doctor, then the logical conclusion would be that his doctor should be the one giving the advice with little to no questioning.

Pill Poppers (BBC Documentary) [Video], accessed July 31, 2014,

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  1. Ashley Lathrop says:

    I loved your post. I thought I understood what our lecture was about but after reading your post I realized that I did not fully understand it! I too feel like, in our society, we are encouraged to spend money on medications to make us better in every aspect. I do not think that medicines can always be avoided but I do believe that there are certain things that we can do naturally that will fix the problem and not just allow you to cope. I like how you said, “it’s the closest the world has come to fully understanding how the human body works.” Well said.

    I also grew up with the elders in my family (grandparents) feeling that whatever their doctor told them was the gospel. They did not get a second opinion, they did not question and they defended whatever the decision was. I think that doctors need to understand that with our growing technological world now, patients are more apt to jump on Google and find the answer for themselves. After that, they might follow up with their doctor. I feel that doctors need to also understand that though while it is a business, these are human beings and they need to do what’s best for them. Patients need to be well educated on their health and go to the doctor when needed; not for a cold or a cough. I don’t really disagree with you but I do not think that people should not question their doctor. It’s their health and they have every right to do so. They should get a second or third opinion within reason.

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