Medical anthropology studies healing practices, medical systems and how different cultures view health. Medical anthropologists combine the cultural and biological aspects of anthropology coupled with medical knowledge in order to understand how different social and cultural factors affect the spread of disease and the treatment of illness. They must be able to overcome ethnocentrism and look at other medical systems with the same deference. There are many medical anthropology jobs, as this discipline is one of the most highly developed areas of anthropology and applied anthropology.
Most medical anthropologists have anthropology as their main discipline. Some come from health professions as nursing and medicine, while others have backgrounds in social work, sociology and psychology. Transcultural psychiatrists are also trained as anthropologists and psychiatric clinicians. Most medical anthropology jobs
require a master’s or Ph.D degree. Medical anthropologists can work in a variety of careers, from medical research to academia. Some even go overseas to set up clinics, helping the natives cooperate and the doctors to be sensitive to their culture. In general, we consider these six basic fields:
- The impact of biomedical technologies;
- The relationship between patient and physician;
- The interaction of social, biological and environmental factors which influence health;
- Analysis of interactions between migrant populations and psychiatric services;
- The integration of alternative medical systems in culturally diverse environments;
Medical Anthropology Jobs
- Development of medical knowledge and care systems.
A medical scientist conducts clinical trials and other types of research focused on improving human health. In order to enter this field, you will need a Ph.D. in biology, biochemistry or another related field. Some have medical and doctoral degrees. A background in anthropology may also be valuable as the job requires strong communications skills to publish research and write grant proposals. The average salary for a medical scientist is $76,700 per year.
Epidemiologists work with public health officials to develop preventive measure against certain diseases. They also track the origin and how infectious diseases spread. An epidemiologist works in laboratory settings but also does fieldwork by collecting evidence and conducting interviews. If you want to become an epidemiologist pursue a master’s degree or a Ph.D in epidemiology, public health or another related field. The median annual salary is $69,660.
Medical anthropologists with an interest in teaching or research may find a job as a teacher in academic departments such as public health, anthropology and social work. They can teach both undergraduate and graduate courses, public books, journal articles and conduct research. The average annual salary for a college or university anthropologist is $81,860.