I chose to further explore the area of applied medical anthropology called epidemiology. MY reasoning for choosing this particular area was because I have heard of epidemiology but was not confident on exactly what an epidemiologist does. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the job description of an epidemiologist is, “to conduct epidemiological investigations used in preventing and controlling specific communicable and chronic diseases, injuries, and other health conditions and in planning health programs.” Epidemiology is a branch of public health or a section under the broad category. Epidemiology is more of a personal interest than pertaining to my future career. However, epidemiology does in a way relate to my future career. I am working towards becoming a nurse and may be working with diseases that affect the public health. I may even work side by side with an epidemiologist if there was a certain disease or public outbreak that my patients may have. An epidemiologist could come into a hospital and analyze patient’s symptoms and the experience they are having with a certain illness.
To those who are epidemiologists, anthropology is a very important way to look at epidemiology. In this class we have learned about how different approaches of anthropology. The applied anthological approach explains how anthropology looks into how people really think and feel in certain cultures. For example, if an epidemiologist is looking into how there is an outbreak of malaria in certain African villages and comes up with the solution to provide mosquito nets for the beds of the people in the village. An anthropologist may look at how the mosquito nets are working for people if they are working even at all. Anthropologists look past aid and simple solutions to the soul root of the problem. If studying the culture done by an anthropologist solves the root of the problem then an epidemiologist can use that and spread the findings to other places in need.
CDC. “Sample Position Description for Tier 1: Entry-Level Epidemiologist.”