Community health


I chose community health because I’d like to know more about why certain areas within the United States have a higher or lower frequency of certain illnesses and diseases. Also I’d like to know what is causing this fluctuation whether it’s because of the different types of people and their social and cultural values or because of the certain social restraints placed on them like inadequate school systems, lack of jobs or limited type of work available (e.g. a coal or iron mining town) or whether or not certain health related information is reaching these communities. I want to eventually get into forensic lab analysis or something along the lines of a forensic pathologist and I feel like having an understanding of these different aspects of daily social life can help me recognize something that I might overlook not necessarily crime related.  A forensic pathologist is essentially an upgraded medical examiner able to write death certificates and if i’m aware why certain outbreaks are related to certain areas or similar types of areas (rural mining town) or why certain diseases are more susceptible among a certain type of people I feel like I can take that knowledge in while examining for evidence and rule out other possibilities based on what I know among different communities and their general health status.

Like I just said if I do get into the forensic work I am trying to I feel like taking the anthropological viewpoint can help in a number of ways. I wouldn’t say it would help me make clear cut choices or predetermined ideas while let’s say examining a crime scene but rather I could take the multidisciplinary anthropological viewpoint and rule out certain things en route to making the final decision about what happened but even more specific, why it happened.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hannah Weiss says:

    I really enjoyed reading your comment on community health. Having an anthropological view point when being a forensic anthropologist can be extremly important. When looking at a body. An anthropologist can see what the person ate, what they did for a living by what muscles and bones are worn down. You can learn a lot about a person depending on their body. Also, I think that forensic work in anthropology could be very useful in a crime scene. Different cultures have different environments that can relate to how deaths may occur. For instance, taking into account the weather because of hypothermia or dehydration in certain areas. Other areas have different plants and animals and need to be considered when looking at crime scenes.

    An interesting thing about forensic anthropology is the viewpoint that can be taken away from different scenarios. Also to be respectful to the culture of the people and respect the body. Some cultures may not want the body to be moved or opened up. It is important to know the customs so that you do not defend the people. I think forensic work is very important and having an anthropologist near can really be beneficial for everyone.

  2. Taylor Smith says:

    I found this post quite interesting and eye opening. Throughout this class I have found it to be quite easy to make ties and understand the importance of taking an anthropological approach when it comes to clinicians, health care administrators, nurses, or even psychologists. However, I never thought to make the connection between anthropology and epidemiology, the spread of disease, and investigations of death and cause of disease. Drew made many good points about understanding the importance of cultural, social, political and other community factors when looking at the cause of death or disease in a group of patients. I feel that although these anthropological methods may not allow him to make specific conclusions, thinking about these social and cultural factors can lead him in the right direction. A forensic pathologist is somewhat of a mystery solver, and the more one knows about a patient’s life and lifestyle, the better they will be able to solve the mystery. If you know that a patient works long hours in harsh or unsanitary conditions, or that they are of low socioeconomic status, it can automatically lead you to certain likely diseases. Additionally, even though forensic pathologists are not typically involved in these types of practices, if they take an anthropological approach to understand some underlying causes for disease and deaths, they can relay this information to medical professionals or clinical anthropologists. These professionals could , in turn, create programs that aim to find a solution for this problem and help the lives of the community members.

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