Public Health

I chose public health because I really want to do a master’s in public health. It is something that greatly interests me because the importance in providing a society that promotes healthy choices. I want to be a doctor and I truly believe that the healthcare system should not just end once a person walks out of a doctor’s office or a hospital. It should continue into the everyday lives of the population. Healthcare is also not always medications and treatments it can be promoting healthy eating habits, or hand washing, or even safe sex. Utilizing the anthropological views in healthcare can make it easier for providers to determine how to improve our nation’s health through seeing how things like the environment, biology, and culture interact. Knowing about a person’s background can help a physician know more about how they perceive a disease or a social habit which can make it much easier to know how to approach them for preventative treatment. Using the global health perspective can help to introduce new methods of health care. Something I learned in my EPI 390 class was that it is important to recognize the culture because you don’t want to offend the population. For example people tried to introduce safe sex practices by demonstrating how to use condoms on a prop. The problem was not what they did it was that women public health officials were trying to show men how to do this and this was a major disgrace in that population. It is important to look at the values a certain group of people have for their health practices in order to be most successful. Anthropologists typically study a population by living among them which I think is a great experience and the only way to actually be able to relate.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mary Normand says:

    I also chose public health because I want to get my Master’s in Public Health! I agree that it’s important to promote healthy choices in a society and also it’s important to be conscious of a society’s culture before implementing health programs. Some other intersections with medical anthropology and public health would be using medical anthropology to figure out why a society is having a health problem and the best way to fix it. An example of this would be the Type II diabetes issue in the United States. Combining public health and medical anthropology, we can figure out why certain people tend to get Type II diabetes over others. Without medical anthropology, many people would assume that a biological factor was the cause, but medical anthropology can help discover that it is socioeconomic issues that cause people to tend to have Type II diabetes over others. With this information, public health programs can then be made that target the people who need it most. I agree with your story about safe sex programs not being effective if they are insensitive to the culture. Medical anthropologists can work together with public health officials to make public health programs that are effective and specific to cultures.

  2. Widad Nasser says:

    I too want to get a master’s in Public Health, not only because I want to but also because I feel that health treatment and prevention does not end in a doctor’s office. I do agree with you that healthcare should not always be medication and treatments. There are so many other alternatives out there that can be utilized to better the health of populations as a whole. Using public health as a form of treatment in the prevention of diseases, I believe, is more important than biomedicine. Public health is integrated with the work of anthropologists to understand a population’s culture to further plan the prevention of disease in that population. If a physician understood public health and applied it to their practice, they would be able to better understand their patient’s background and beliefs when treating them. For instance, the case of obesity, looking into the patients background, understanding their cultural beliefs and why they are obese, can help a physician provide better treatment to the patient. The physician should never just assume that a patient is obese because they have bad eating habits or they live an unhealthy life. This may be the cultural mindset towards obesity in the U.S, but in other countries that may not be the case.

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