Public Health

I chose Public Health because that is the field I want to pursue as a career. The Public health field works to prevent disease, prolong life and promote health. Understanding public health is essential in any healthcare practice. You need to understand the health needs of a population as a whole in order to treat in an individual in that population. Whether you are a doctor, hospital worker or an insurance analyst, looking at the public health aspect of healthcare can better your understanding for treating and promoting health. As I explained before, I am pursuing a career in healthcare administration. My job is to supervise the delivery of healthcare. It is my job to educate healthcare providers and the population on the different aspects of public health and ways of disease prevention. Taking an anthropological approach to the delivery of healthcare can better the treatment of individuals of different cultures and beliefs. When treating a patient, the healthcare provider needs to understand the patient’s background and understand their culture before using biomedicine to treat them. Just like it was stated in the lecture, the patients or the healthcare worker is a blank slate. In order to facilitate a proper treatment program, it is necessary to recognize the complete cultural, biological, psychological and social circumstances. Anthropologists have a major role in the area of public health. In the article by Deborah Winslow, it states that, “ anthropologists do basic research, implement public health education or intervention programs, conducts methods work or laboratory activities.” This is the work done by anthropologists in the Centers of Disease Control, a major contributor in the public health field. The CDC provides over 50 jobs for anthropologists in the public heath sector, including what was stated above. The involvement of anthropologists in the CDC provides better understanding of the causes of illness from a cultural perspective.

Winslow, C.-E. A.. “The Untilled Fields Of Public Health.” Science 51, no. 1306 (1920): 23-33.

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  1. Francesca Rogers says:

    Widad did a great job of explaining Public health and why it is important. I especially agree with what he said, “You need to understand the health needs of a population as a whole in order to treat in an individual in that population.” Many populations vary from culture to culture because they all have different beliefs, practices, and biological and social circumstances. What someone may think is good for one population may not benefit another. Widad also made another great point, “Taking an anthropological approach to the delivery of healthcare can better the treatment of individuals of different cultures and beliefs.” This is especially true because many health care providers such as doctors, nurses etc., do not have the skills to differentiate between certain cultures and their different backgrounds. Without that, populations may not get the proper biomedicine that is of assistance. Even with the public health educating individuals, many do not find it important to attempt these medical interventions. Some do not want to go against their traditions and beliefs. In the YouTube video by Tribal Jazzman Scholar, he states an instance where a culture was shown to boil water in order to kill parasites. They didn’t go through with it because it would destroy the natural spirits of the water. This goes to show that even if you educate people on being healthy, they may not listen.

    Tribal Jazzman Scholar, “Medical Anthropology” Episode #26 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjDPwF9uV58

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