The area/intersection of applied medical anthropology I chose to further investigate is the area of public health. Public health is something I am interested in learning more about and further researching for many reasons. Foremost, after finishing undergraduate studies here at Michigan State, I plan to pursue medical school in hopes of becoming a pediatric doctor as my future career. Public health is especially important for medical professionals to investigate and understand. Public health is “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promotion health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals.” (WHO). As a doctor, it is crucial to inform the public of preventative health measures and ways to take care of and maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. Public health is necessary to inform the people around the world of proper health and body care as well as ways to seek treatment if necessary.
As a doctor, in the future, I will be an example of a medical provider working in the medical field yet not an anthropologist. I do, however, believe anthropology is an important aspect of working with medicine and health, too. An anthropological viewpoint would be advantageous as a doctor because it will help to better learn and understand patients’ cultural beliefs and viewpoints while providing optimal medical care. Anthropology is important to a doctor because it will allow the doctor to make a connection with the patient as well as learning more about their background. Public health can educate society about preventative measures and ways to take care of your body, but social roles, economic statuses, as well as cultural beliefs all play a role in the way people treat their bodies. I believe that an anthropological approach is important for understanding how various factors in patients’ lives contribute to a patient’s lives as well as disease/illness and impact the way a doctor may provide treatment to that specific patient.
“Public Health.” WHO. Accessed August 7, 2014.