This is a section of a larger document exploring the intersection between culture and medicine. It discusses the topic of ethnomedicine and how it differs from western biomedicine, the difference between disease and illness and different healing systems. It also discusses the three theoretical approaches in medical anthropology. The first major theoretical approach to understanding health systems emphasizes the importance of the environment in shaping health problems and how they spread. The second highlights symbols and meaning in people’s expression of suffering and healing practices. The third points to the need to look at structural factors (political, economic, media) as the underlying causes of health problems and examines Western biomedicine as a cultural institution.” It concludes with a discussion of critical medical anthropology which focuses on the analysis of how structural factors like the global political economy, social inequality etc that affect health outcomes.

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