Public Health

An area of applied medical anthropology that I want to investigate further is public health. To me, this topic is very important. People all over the world depend on the information brought to them by people and organizations like the CDC etc. In the future, I foresee myself becoming a doctor. It will be my job to keep people safe by informing and updating them on certain medical issues. I find it very beneficial that people are educated and public health has a lot to do with that. This keeps people safe in numerous communities. There needs to be public awareness in all areas of the world so that people are safe to live in their home environments while also taking in new information that is being spread. Many third world countries suffer from medical issues because they are unaware of the many ways of prevention. This is due to the lack of public health services. Not all cultures will accept the information that is given to them, but it is worth trying to save as many lives as possible.

If I began working for an insurance company, I would take an anthropology view point because they have more knowledge on how things are related not just medically, but culturally too. Healthcare these days is expensive. Many individuals lack the financial support that is needed to obtain medical attention. If I were to work for this insurance company, my main priority would be educating people on how to prevent infectious diseases and other medical issues. When people are informed on how to keep healthy, they will be in less need of medical attention. I would study the cultural ways of different communities and see things from every perspective. I would not assume I know what is right for a culture and I would be open to endless ideas from their people specifically. Anthropologists have made mistakes in assuming they know what is best for a culture to solve a medical issue and that is sometimes not the case.

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  1. Megan Bergeron says:

    I think that Francesca did a great job in describing public health and anthropology’s influence in the field. I really liked how she said, “many third world countries suffer from medical issues because they are unaware of the many ways of prevention.” I can relate to this because I recently traveled to Honduras with a Global Health Brigade. One of my responsibilities while on this trip was teaching people how to and the importance of simply brushing their teeth. Many have never brushed their teeth and do not know why it is important. As a result of their lack of knowledge, many people of all ages had to have numerous teeth extracted. If these people had simply been taught the importance of oral hygiene, they would be able to live a happier, healthier life. Francesca was also very correct when she stated, “not all cultures will accept the information that is given to them.” Many of the older individuals in Honduras still do not brush their teeth after being taught because it is not part of there lifestyle and never has been. I think that the intersection between anthropology and public health is very important. Francesca touched on the topic of culture in public health. I think that culture is one of the most important aspects of public health. Culture determines how patients are diagnosed, treated, examined, etc. Different cultures view different diseases and treatments differently. By understanding cultures, you can understand what will be the best approach for each patient or customer.

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