Medical Anthropology

Jul 4th, 2015
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Medical anthropology is the study of human health and disease, health care systems, and bio-cultural adaptation. The discipline draws upon the four fields of anthropology to analyse and compare the health of regional populations and of ethnic and cultural enclaves, both prehistoric and contemporary.

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Medical AnthropologyA. McElroyMedical anthropology is the study of human health and disease, health care systems, and bio-cultural adaptation. The discipline draws upon the four fields of anthropology to analyse and compare the health of regional populations and of ethnic and cultural enclaves, both prehistoric and contemporary. Collaboration among paleopathologists, human biologists, ethnologists, and linguists has created a field that is autonomous from any single subdiscipline, with strong potential for integration of physical and Cultural anthropology. The field is also highly interdisciplinary, linking anthropology to sociology, economics, and geography, as well as to medicine, nursing, public health, and other health professions.Since the mid-1960s, medical anthropology has developed three major orientations.Medical ecology views populations as biological as well as cultural units and studies interactions among ecological systems, health, and human evolution. Ethnomedical analysis focuses on cultural systems of healing and the cognitive parameters of illness.Applied medical anthropology deals with intervention, prevention, and policy issues and analyses the socioeconomic forces and power differentials that influence access to care.In this triad, cultural anthropology is most closely allied with ethnomedicine. In the formative years, some anthropologists favoured identifying the field as "ethnomedicine," while others preferred "anthropology of health." The term "m

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