Public Health

I chose to reflect on public health because I am an aspiring doctor. Of course doctors are responsible for clinical medicine as far as curing a patient but preventing the illness before it can even occur I feel is even more important. By understanding how to prevent a disease doctors can expand life expectancy of individuals and spread the knowledge needed to stay healthy.

I would be an example of someone providing health care that is not an anthropologist but taking in anthropological view in my practice would be very helpful to the community and my patients. In our culture we strongly believe in prescribing pills for illnesses but it is important to know that not all cultures aren’t used to our practices. Especially here in America we are extremely diverse. So it is important to consider their religious beliefs and background when treating them for illness. I think it is crucial to build our patient doctor bond in the future and being sensitive to other cultures can help do that. Like in the situation with the Hmong people in California. The hospital adjusted many of their routines and went out of their way to make it so the Hmong Shamans could treat the patients. This is what they were comfortable with in their culture. In the article “Why Anthropologist Join an Ebola Outbreak Team” medical anthropologist, Barry Hewlett explains that “Understand local customs-and fears- can go a long way in getting communities to cooperate with international health care workers”. This is because different cultures don’t know about our biomedicine and are suspicious. In Uganda during the 2000 Ebola outbreak medical staff had a really hard time having sick individuals come to the clinics to be treated because they were afraid. We were also being insensitive to the families in Uganda and not being culturally sensitive.

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