Highlights the approach of medical anthropology to contemporary African American health care issues and demonstrates the importance of cultural relativism for those working in health care intervention among the different and diverse segments of the African American population.
The field of medical anthropology is a discipline that incorporates the perspective of a wide range of approaches—from anthropologists, sociologists, epidemiologists, physicians, nurses, public health administrators, biologists, and many others, including the general public—to health care. This approach places culture and cultural relativism at the forefront and center of every model, and examines the ethics and fairness of health care issues associated with the African American population.
The author examines data on mortality, census, preventive health, alternative medical practices, clinical research, and intervention from a comprehensive perspective. Finally, fieldwork in a public health department setting provides the medical anthropologist with a unique opportunity to investigate cultural and health issues of a particular population in a public health setting. The author explains the steps and procedures for conducting an applied medical anthropological study, based on his experience doing fieldwork projects over the past 15 years.