Medical anthropology is the subfield of anthropology that examines how social, cultural, biological, and historical variables shape health and wellbeing. Even though healthcare providers and public health officials are dedicated to treating sickness and preventing the spread of disease, their focus and methodology is based in the biological sciences. Medical anthropologists seek to holistically understand human health and social life by studying the sociocultural roots and ramifications of illness and disease.
The medical anthropology minor is a unique program that draws together both biological, cultural, and techno-environmental factors to ask:
- What shapes health and illness?
- Who falls ill, and from what causes?
- Who has, or does not have, access to health care?
- How do different groups, both within the U.S. and around the world, think about the body, health, and healing?
- How do these different perspectives lead to culturally mediated approaches to treatment?
- What can we learn from cross-cultural practices as we work to ensure good health for all?
In this program, you’ll learn about the many diverse medial systems and kinds of care in communities around the world.