I was looking for a class to take to fulfill one of my course requirements for the health promotion minor. A friend recommended me to take this class, and I am really so glad I did. I feel like only a few courses stick with you throughout your life, once you leave college, and this is definitely one of those courses. I learned so much about my perspective and the world’s perspective on healthcare that I had no prior knowledge of.
I have always been a firm believer in the western medical system, and this is really just because I never learned any differently. I liked how this class showed me that there is more than just one way of viewing the healthcare system, and the right way for one person isn’t always the right for another. In fact, after learning so much about other cultures, I am beginning to think there are better practices used than the western ways.In an article by Amit Singh he discusses how we there is no third or second world countries anymore because development means different things in different places. “People begin to think that traditional medicine is not useful anymore because it is not like ‘modern’ Western medicine. But traditional medicine has often been very successful for a long time” (Singh).
I found the explanatory models used in week two to be be very interesting. I like how it explained how illness means different things to different people, and how they also handle them differently (Explanatory Models 2.2). It made things more clear to me why certain doctors handle different diseases in different ways depending on the situation and the status of the person. I liked the example of the ebola virus that was used. When American health care workers came to help locals in Africa treat the disease many of them didn’t trust them or wouldn’t allow them to treat them because the methods they were using (Explanatory Models 2.2), I think this is so important because it shows how differently explanatory models vary among cultures. In some cultures family, friends and beliefs have such a large impact on a person’s health, I really enjoyed reading about these first hand In The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, it allowed me to better understand these various cultures and put them into my perspective.
Another major point that has stuck with me through the course is the lectures from week 1 on racism. I never had looked at racism the way is was presented in the lecture, that biologically there really is not such thing as “racism”. The quote from lecture, “There is only one race, the human race” (Gabriel 1.1) really put things into perspective for me as I came to realize we are dividing ourselves based on predisposition, no actual facts. Ethnicity is what places a role in determining if people are more inclined to contracting diseases or behaving a certain way, not race.
A film I think that could be added to the curriculum of this course is the documentary Sicko. This film came out in 2007 and is meant to compare the United States health care system to those of other countries. Throughout the film it spotlights some of the U.S.’s greater flaws in its healthcare system. This would be a good film to analyze as it compares health care systems around the world and demonstrates how the U.S. system may be on top, but is still full of faults.
I am grateful for all I learned in this class. It really has made me look at health care differently and actually understand cultures and their actions better. I will keep this information In mind throughout my life and career.
Singh, Amit. “The Western Way Isn’t Always the Best Way.” – New Internationalist Easier English Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Aug. 2016.