Scientific medicine has long been perceived as an effective and the only accurate method of medical care, and there remain proponents of the traditional way of treatment. However, practice shows that not only science is beneficial to doctors’ performance and their patients’ health but also other less evident factors such as a patient’s background. Medical anthropology is a vivid example of applying knowledge of different spheres of a person’s life to his or her treatment. Both doctors and nurses interested in anthropology try to understand health from the point of human roots – cultural, social, and biological. Such an extended approach to treatment is more holistic and humane than the pure scientific one, and the method continues to gain popularity and relevance.
I think that mandated cultural competence seminars at the workplace may be beneficial for both staff members and patients. However, not only is it essential to provide workers with relevant and comprehensive information, but hospitals should also keep in mind that all the staff members are to be accustomed to the principles of medical anthropology. Although educational programs are the most effective way of teaching hospital workers to apply the anthropological approach in the treatment process, there are also other methods of improving cultural competence.
An essential thing for workers to understand is that medical anthropology is efficient and beneficial to their patients. As soon as they see the positive difference as a result of applying the method, there will be an interest on their part, and they will strive to become culturally competent. Consequently, I think that for medical workers to believe in the anthropological method, their genuine concern is required, and it is vivid positive examples of applying the approach that will spur their interest.