A young patient observes a medicine man (on the right) and helper prepare a sandpainting as part of her healing ceremony. (Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine, Navajo Area Indian Health Service Today, IHS, 1980.)
This course looks at medicine from a cross-cultural perspective, focusing on the human, as opposed to biological, side of things. Students learn how to analyze various kinds of medical practice as cultural systems. Particular emphasis is placed on Western (bio-medicine); students examine how biomedicine constructs disease, health, body, and mind, and how it articulates with other institutions, national and international.