I picked this topic to discuss in my reflection today because this is what I plan on focusing my career on after I finish my undergrad here at Michigan State. I plan on applying to Public Health schools to get my Master’s degree because I find this approach to medicine the most intriguing and effective. Looking at medicine from a community prevention standpoint makes the most sense to me in this day and age. Clinical medicine is very good at treating diseases but from a public health standpoint, we can prevent these diseases and help a community thrive. Public health can also be very effective in taking the pressure off our healthcare system and uses a lot of anthropological approaches to make this happen.
I think it is important to look at public health from an anthropological viewpoint because it allows the healthcare provider to find the root of the problems that are being addressed. We can look at the culture of the community that is being studied and understand how they live affects their health. Before a doctor can go in and effectively treat a patient, they need to know the cause. We can look at this in a larger scale by saying that we cannot effectively solve a communities health issues before discovering the root of the problem. For example, if HIV/AIDs is rampant in an area of the world, we need to first find out why this is so. Is it because the community has a lack of sex education? Or could it be because the community’s heroin problem leads to infected needle exchange? In both of these scenarios, we would need to treat the community issue in a very different way. By going back and asking anthropological questions about the community, we can more quickly and effectively help a community with their health issues and have a greater impact on the health of our world.