W7: A World Striving for Perspective

Throughout this short summer semester of class, I have learned so much and have absorbed a lot of knowledge that will forever be instilled in me. I think the most important thing I learned was about explanatory models. I believe that this simple doing has so much impact on every single situation, big or small. Every culture, every religion, every illness, every individual, has their own explanatory model and way of looking at life and everything consumed within. I enjoyed this course because it really opened my eyes to how important someone else’s outlook is, in order to be treated the right way and in a way that is comfortable and respectable. Someone may look at medicine and think it is a doctor saving a life and another person may look at drugs and think they are wrong and won’t be the cure. It is true, doctors do what they can to prolong life, but to some cultures using technology takes away an individuals integrity by prolonging what was meant to be spiritually and a passage of their soul to the next life. There are so many different perspectives in the world, each one unique to that individual and I learned how important taking someone else’s explanatory model into consideration is life enduring. Just like in lecture from week 6, how Doctor Rodgers patients are 70% Hmong and he is highly talked about within their culture as being an amazing doctor. He takes the Hmong peoples perspectives into mind when giving care by avoiding c-sections as much as possible and even giving the mothers their placenta in a plastic bag after birthing. These are some of their rituals that are very important, which Doctor Rodgers had no relation to, but still never questioned their traditions. He never forced conventional medicine on his patients and when asked why, he simply said, “its their bodies” (Lecture 2.1).

I will definitely take everything learned into consideration at all times in my future and when in the field of public health, which will be extremely beneficial. Another point that really opened up my mind was to learn about so much about other cultures and healthcare, making me realize how fortunate I am to live in the United States and get the healthcare that I can. Although we have access to healthcare, it does not mean we have the best care. I found this article that would be very beneficial, it talks about how it is instilled in our minds that America’s healthcare is the best just because that is all most of us know. We only compare ours with third world countries. In this article, it compares with other places such as Britain. “We spend $2.3 trillion annually on health care, about 18 percent of our Gross Domestic Product and more than twice what most advanced nations spend. This is roughly $8,500 per person in the U.S. compared to $5,670 in Norway and $5,645 in Switzerland, the two next-highest countries” (Kantarjian, 2014). Along with other facts in this article, this one really stood out to me, where does all that money go and why aren’t there more cures. This would be an for more insight on healthcare differences between not only American and third world countries but comparing with the next highest countries.



Kantarjian, Hagop. “An Unhealthy System.” US News. N.p., 30 May 2014. Web. 16 Aug. 2016.

2 thoughts on “W7: A World Striving for Perspective

  1. I also learned a lot about explanatory models that I never knew before. It’s not something I’ve ever really thought about but it definitely makes a lot of sense that different people experience and interpret illness in a multitude of different ways. I also realized that it’s important for someone to have an explanatory model because it can help them to better understand their sickness and what is going on in their body as well as giving them a way to decide what types and forms of treatment that person feels would be best and most effective for themselves. Certain cultures don’t always view certain illnesses in a negative way, some cultures and religions view what we here in America may think of as a bad illness as a blessing in their culture. In America we rely heavily on drugs and medicine to cure illness and many cultures don’t agree with that as a healthy form of a cure which they have their own right to disagree with the way we do things in our health systems. I think it’s important to always take another person’s culture into consideration when dealing with their health so that they are comfortable in the situation and have a say on how to treat their own bodies.

  2. Hi Emily!
    I really liked your post and have totally taken some similar ideas from this course. I am happy to see that you have appreciated the material we have learned as much as I have.
    I explained in my post, that this class has taught me to be more culturally aware, just like your idea about other’s perspective being so important. We cannot learn from pressing ideas we think correct on a population who may believe something else. If we listen, we can connect their ideas with our own. This would cause us to see which type of medicine may benefit a specific individual. I think a medical world where every type of healer (from a shaman to an American doctor) collectively pool their ideas would achieve the highest quality of health care.
    American health care is totally put on a pedestal simply because we live in America. The media distorts our view of medical care by bombarding us with commercials about the new drug to take, hospital to go to, or doctor to call if you want a face lift. So much of our medicine is driven by competition, with a finite purpose of creating profit. It has transformed biomedicine into a business, where the attention is turned to the highest profit, instead of most effective health care. We need to very seriously change the western monopoly of medicine. Do you think a Hmong is looking to make a dollar when they are casting out a dab? You can see how some traditional healing practices are obviously not corrupt. They are just ancient traditions that have evidence of even working. When we start taking others ideas and combining them with our own, optimal health care will be achieved.

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