W6 Reflection: Public Health

I chose to further examine Public Health, as this is my future field of study. I would like to work in Public Health, with an interest in Epidemiology. I then plan on furthering my study by getting a Master’s in Public Health. My primary interest would be working for a place like the CDC and being able to improve the overall health and wellbeing in lower income communities  and among troubled youth, single mothers, and immigrants. To me, medical anthropology intersects a lot with the study of Public Health. Taking an anthropological view in medicine is important to fully understand an illness or disease.  Certain diseases are known to certain ethnic groups and being able to evaluate, diagnose, and treat these types of diseases is crucial to the well-being of many. Also, it’s important to look at the patient and not see them as just another case of COPD or Type 1 Diabetes. It’s important to look past all of that, and being able to probe further. Understanding a patient’s lifestyle is just as important as curing and helping to treat a disease. I hope that when I am working in the field of public health, I’m able to understand disease from a cultural aspect, to understand the medicalization of natural processes, and I’m able to understand the ethnomedical, applied, etc approaches to looking at illness and disease. I hope that I’m able to learn a lot from the patients, doctors, nurses, and staff that I’m to work with. I think that to be able to look at one’s culture, understand their perspective and be able to offer treatment options based on what they’re comfort level is what makes a good doctor, or nurse, or public health official. It’s being able to fully understand the social and cultural aspects of medicine. And that requires a thorough understanding of anthropology.

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