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Arvilla Chapin Payne-Jackson

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 34: Medical Anthropology

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Medical Anthropology
Medical anthropology

Medical anthropology is the discipline in anthropology that addresses disease and the health care systems developed to cope with disease. Medical anthropologists study the spectrum of cultural and biological factors that have contributed to health, disease, and health care systems throughout human experience from cross-cultural, historical, and evolutionary points of view. They address a wide variety of health and health care issues including cultural barriers to therapeutic and preventive health care; issues of bioethics; the effect of pandemics, epidemics, and natural disasters; the impact of public policy on health care, practitioner-patient communication in hospitals, clinics, private, and ethnomedical practices; nutrition; perceived etiologies and their effect on therapeutic approaches to healing; differences in the cultures of biomedical, ethnomedical, and other alternative health care ...

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