Public Health

I chose public health to reflect on because my future goal and aspiration is to become a pharmacist in some sort of health setting. I believe that public health is important for improving and providing healthy communities around the world. If I were a pharmacist in, for example, a hospital and working under some sort of hospital worker, taking an anthropological approach while doing my job would be very important and would probably be needed on a daily basis. In our culture, providing and distributing biomedicine for public use is a common method for treating and curing a variety of illnesses and often works to improve the lives of patients who become ill. However, it is important to understand the patients cultural background, beliefs, and customs before prescribing biomedicine or any treatment that might conflict with any of these terms. As stated in the lecture, the patient or the healthcare worker treating the patient is a blank slate, and the only way to come up with a proper treatment program is to recognize the complete cultural, biological, and psychological and social circumstances. In our culture, it is easy to consider only the biological aspect of a patient’s health and ignore the rest. I believe that medical anthropologist should be established in all healthcare settings so that doctors, nurses, etc. have the complete background on a patient and can properly treat the patient without any cultural conflicts that may upset the patient, or the patient’s health in any way. For example, even the CDC has taken action to include medical anthropologists into the federal agency, and has provided over 50 jobs that include basic research, implement public health and education, and do laboratory activities. All in all, adding medical anthropologists into the field of human medicine can easily improve overall public health, which is important when trying to establish healthy communities.

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