W7: Learning About and Questioning Medical Anthropology

This has been one of the best, and a personal favorite, classes I have taken at MSU. The set up was perfect for both learning and portraying our learnings of the readings and assignment. I really couldn’t picture this class with tests and quizzes and lectures and notes. From week one, I really enjoyed all of the content. The cultural information was by far the best and most eye-opening that we had covered. Most of the other weeks, I had some sort of idea as to the background but for the cultural matters, it was mostly new information. 

My addition to the course material I would add a book that I have read numerous times called “So B. It”. I read this book when I was younger and really have loved it every time I read it again. In the story, the girl, whose mother has a mental illness is very curious about her ancestry. Her mother cannot provide to her the answers so she sets out on a journey with the little information she knows to find out all she can. My favorite line from the book that always stuck out to me is, “There are some things in life a person just can’t know” (Weeks). I think the books taken into account many of the anthropological aspects we have looked at in this class. 

I have also learned much about what how what we refer to as “medical” is not medical to others. In many cases, we find things, such as natural processes or minor abnormalities, to be a medical concern. If found this to be both interesting and concerning. Are we relying too much on doctors to cure the smallest thing? Who’s to say what is abnormal or what needs to be “fixed”? Although this class has thought me so much, it has also left me challenging our thinking and questioning things I would not have otherwise thought about. Week one made me question what society knows about race, week two made me question what the best way to deal with mental illness is, week three I questioned the treatments we receive in our medical practices, week four I asked myself what I think how I would want to give birth, week five I thought about infectious disease treatment here versus other countries, and finally week six I thought about how we can change things in the future to better treat immigrants and provide for them the live they are not allowed to live in other countries. This class has proven to be very well set up and a great learning experience!

 Weeks, Sarah, and Sanae Sasaki. So B. It. Ekusu Narejji.

One thought on “W7: Learning About and Questioning Medical Anthropology

  1. Hi Rachel, I couldn’t agree with you more. Normally people think of online classes as blow off classes and easy 4.0’s but I was more intrigued with the content in this class than the majority of my classes last semester. The way the class was set up was especially great, and I am not only saying that because we didn’t have any exams (not that I am complaining). I believe that when you know you have an exam coming up, you worry more about just memorizing the information to pass the test, but with this class, I was able to learn about all of these different cultures just to LEARN, not to stress over for an exam for once. I find myself referring back to different pieces of material in my day to day life, which is great since that is the whole point.
    Your last paragraphs brings out a lot of points that I like as well and it was a very good “wrapping-everything-up” type of paragraph. Both of the questions you asked is what I question a lot now too, and honestly I don’t think I would have asked such questions if I hadn’t taken this course. I do believe a lot of the time we rely on doctors too heavily because in our culture, that’s what we know and how we live. Even for myself, if something minor goes awry with my health, I jump to the doctor’s to give me feedback, ignoring anything else. It’s just something as both an individual and as a country that needs to be paid attention to.

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