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Medical Anthropology (BA, BS)

Medical Anthropology (BA, BS)


Medical anthropology draws upon biological and sociocultural anthropology to understand human health and well-being. This program helps students develop the skills needed to tackle some of the most pressing national and global health challenges. 

Why choose medical anthropology?

Medical anthropology is unique. It considers how human evolutionary history combines with people's current cultural, economic and political context to shape their health.

Medical anthropologists:

  • Examine how health and illness are shaped, experienced, and understood across cultures and in light of global, historical, and political forces
  • Seek to identify the factors that explain the distribution of disease within and across human societies
  • Investigate people’s illness experiences and explain how these experiences shape the lives of individuals, families and communities
  • Help understand people’s healthcare seeking behaviors including their concurrent use of multiple medical systems within a single society such as the use of biomedicine and Chinese medicine in treating chronic pain
  • Apply their skills to improve healing by helping patients and their healers (doctors) better communicate 

What can you do with this degree?

Medical anthropologists work in universities, hospitals and clinics, public health, national and international health agencies as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on health.