I chose to focus on epidemiology because it is a cornerstone of public health linking risks to disease and hence enhancing preventative care. There is a lot to be learned from the patterns in which health issues present themselves because they will guide scientists to narrow the field of search in identifying the cause of disease. The word epidemiology literally means “the study of what is upon the people” so it is an observation based science, and as a future health professional I am going to use my skills of observation and empathy to understand a patients condition and how the patient may perceive his or her own condition. So this intersection of the objective with the subjective will be what I hope, a source of keen insight to improving a patient’s situation.
Medical anthropology brings in a cultural and ethnic perspective into healthcare. It acknowledges the influence of culture and societal elements in identifying the cause and treatment of disease. Many healthcare professionals lack the training and sensitivity to identify or link a patient’s cultural and societal background to the patient’s health situation and the ways to treat the disease.
The practice of medical anthropology can introduce keen information to improve patient-physician relationships leading to simpler and more effective solutions to health issues and improved prevention and realistic and cost-effective treatment options. These become possible through an understanding of how societal and cultural factors shape a human being’s overall well being and lifestyle