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Travel Med Infect Dis. 2010 May;8(3):180-3. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2010.02.005. Epub 2010 Mar 23.

Developing an understanding between people: the key to global health.

Author information

1
University College, London, UK. alina.serafin@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Global health and international health are prominent concepts within development issues today. Health is at the heart of many of the Millennium Development Goals, and the idea of a human right to health and health care has taken more hold in the forefronts of our minds. In acknowledgement of the globalised and interdependent society in which we live, this reflective piece uses personal experiences of anthropology and travel throughout the author's medical education to illustrate the pressing need for a better understanding between health workers and local populations. Experiences in Ecuador, Peru, India and Nepal, highlight the plurality of medicine. They show how medical education in the UK forms only one part of medical knowledge, and in particular how clinical practice requires the appreciation of a wider context. Within a multi-cultural society, it is essential that medical students learn new skills for the future. Teaching Anthropology and Sociology within the curriculum in the UK can educate students about how knowledge is created within a culture and to appreciate the diversity between cultures. Consideration of patients' backgrounds and beliefs allows health workers to develop relationships with the local population, which can be of invaluable use in making global health equality a reality.

PMID:
20541139
DOI:
10.1016/j.tmaid.2010.02.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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