Applied Medical Anthropology

Table of Contents

Applied Medical Anthropology

Medical anthropology is a required field in the world today as it studies human health and diseases. The area is essential as there is a constant emergence of new diseases and viruses, for example, covid 19. The theory categorizes into three theoretical orientations; medical ecology, ethnomedicine, and applied medical anthropology(McElroy., P.3-8). The essay only majors on applied medical anthropology, why the theory is necessary, how it applies to New York City and discusses the cold symptoms resulting from emotional states.

Applied Anthropology encompasses policy issues, analyzing the social-economic factors and authority differences that affect access to maintenance, and dealing with prevention and interventions. The theoretical orientation is helpful regarding covid 19 as anthropologists seek to put across actions against the transmission. The article “Medical Anthropology” by A. McElroy asserts that applied medical anthropology encompasses quantitative approaches that demand attention to statistical analysis and sampling (McElroy., P.6). We get to analyze Covid 19 statistics pandemic, which has contributed to about 261 million people having covid 19 infections and 5.19 million deaths. The theoretical approach is vital as it guides preparing social and cultural responses that limit human suffering and endeavors to look for the cure of the new pathogen. Since the applied anthropological methods are eclectic (McElroy., P.6), anthropologists have been able to study various ways in which the covid 19 virus mutate. WHO has also outlined different ways in which covid 19 manifest itself in the human body.

Applied medical anthropology is one of the best theories that apply to NYC concerning the covid 19 pandemic, which has hit almost every country in the world. Newyork has been facing various medical scourges in the recent past as it has faced pandemics like Ebola, cholera, and  Hiv/Aids, which proved to be very challenging to the people. However, endless efforts of medical anthropologists a state of balance of these diseases have been reached if not cure the conditions of this contagious disease. Newyokers draw their confidence from these experiences that continued intervention on Covid 19 will produce results. It is clear that from the article that the theory applies to any arena, which makes it possible for New York City to collaborate with every sector to adjust to changes brought about by Covid 19.

Applied medical anthropology is very relevant to NYC as the article state that the theoretical approach deals with informed consent (McElroy., P.7). The Jama forum in NYC identified some ethnic groups, such as Latinos, which were at a higher risk of contracting the Covid 19 virus. New York has gone forward to advocate for various prevention measures regarding the theory as it deals with the prevention of diseases. Quantitative approaches and the sophisticated statistical analysis according to the applied medical method contribute to updating covid 19 data in NYC, ensuring that people don’t ignore the fact that covid 19 is still allowed. The is a need for preventative measures like vaccination. Recent reports say that New York has vaccinated almost two-thirds of its residents( Rosenberg et al., P.1306). It is indisputable that the theoretical orientation is applicable in NYC as it is multicultural; it encourages more research and endless efforts by medical practitioners to prevent the future threat of the pandemic.

It is evident from the various researches undertaken that emotional states contribute to cold symptoms. Negative emotions like stress trigger some hormones related to stress; cortisol and epinephrine cause cold symptoms like irritation and sneezing. Also, research done by Cohen and Williamson shows that when some people are affected by stress, they find an escape to this negative emotion by engaging in harmful unhealthy practices like smoking. (Cohen & Williamson., P.131-141). Individuals who have a high tendency of having a negative emotional state are at a higher risk of being affected by diseases at a higher rate. Introverts rarely share their problems; research depicts that they are more susceptible to diseases like Covid 19.  Covid 19 is dependent on the body’s immune system, considering that negative emotional states weaken immunological abilities for fighting even the simple colds; running nose, temperature, coughing, running eyes, fatigue, decreased concentration, feeling sick, and chilliness.

In the current period of the covid 19 pandemic, various families experience changes considering the negative impacts of Covid 19. Interaction with my uncle in the covid 19 period left me wondering why he is constantly sneezing and irritable most of the time. Yet, before the covid 19 pandemic, whenever we interacted with him, maybe when he was on work leave, he looked happy and always helped me learn something new. The literature on Cold Symptoms and emotional dissatisfaction helped me understand that my uncle’s recent behavior resulted from stress (Divale. P.27-42) brought about by a loose job due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Interview with my younger brother, Alex, a  higher schooler, on how he faired with the school work. My concern was why he had chronic absenteeism, and his answer would always be that he was not feeling well. The behavior continued for a while such that my parent’s concern was uncontrollable since such behavior resulted in school dropout. Interaction with the school tutors confirmed that my brother’s abrupt change of not going to school because of chronic illness resulted from academic stress experienced at school. My brother suffers from dyscalculia and, to some extent, dyslexia. The specific learning disabilities make him have consequent quarries with his teachers since he cannot finish his homework most of the time. The exercises during class, mostly mathematics, he was slower than others due to dyscalculia (Peters. P.663-674). Teachers before then had not recognized the specific learning disabilities in my brother. Pressure applied by teachers to Alex since he was lying behind in academics compared to the other children contributed to stress to Alex, thus weakening his immune system, as the literature in the article asserts. Weak immune is prone to frequent illness. No wonder Alex said that he was not feeling well.

Applied medical anthropology proves to be more applicable to areas affected mainly by Covid 19, like NYC, compared with the two theoretical approaches. The ever working anthropologist has reduced the emergence of diseases and viruses. In today’s world, where covid 19 is the main challenge, advocates of applied medical anthropology are on the first line in seeking a solution to covid 19 and preventing more deaths. In addition, from the essay, people should reduce negative emotions, which give rise to cold symptoms and weaken the immune system, putting an individual at a high risk of being affected by Covid 19.

Work Cited

Cohen, 8., Tyrell, D.A.J., & Smith, A. P. (1993). Adverse life events, perceived stress, negative affect, and susceptibility to the common cold. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64(1), 131-141.

Divale, William. “Cold symptoms and emotional dissatisfaction among rural/urban and culturally diverse high school students.” Cross-Cultural Research 29.1 (1995): 27-42.

McElroy, A. “Aus: D. Levinson, M. Ember (Hrsg.) Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology. Henry Holt.”

Peters, Lien, et al. “Dyscalculia and dyslexia: Different behavioral, yet similar brain activity profiles during arithmetic.” NeuroImage: Clinical 18 (2018): 663-674.

Rosenberg, Eli S., et al. “New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among adults, by vaccination status—New York, May 3–July 25, 2021.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 70.37 (2021): 1306.



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