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Health disparities exist between races in America. These inequalities are cataloged in numerous studies, reports, conferences, articles, seminars, and keynote speeches. Various studies include reports on income, health insurance, cultural differences between patients and their physicians, language barriers, and biological “racial” differences in the discourse of health disparities. On Race and Medicine: Insider Perspectives is a collection of enlightening personal essays written by an interdisciplinary group of scholars, physicians, and medical school deans. They invite readers to evaluate disparities differently when considering race in American healthcare. They address the very real, everyday circumstances of healthcare differences where race is concerned, and shine light on the realities of race itself, inequalities in healthcare, and on the very way these American complexities can be discussed and considered. This is not another chronicle of studies cataloging differences in health care based on race. The essays are narrated from practical and personal stances examining disparate health between the races. Decreasing inequalities in health for racial minorities, who are sicker in so many areas—diabetes, heart disease, stage of cancer, etc.—is financially good for everyone. But understanding health inequalities in race is of even greater human importance. How race intersects with medicine is striking given the existence of racial issues throughout the rest of American history. These authors attempt to explain and explore the truth about health disparities, which is necessary before we can turn our national attention toward eliminating differences in health based on race.
Health is a gendered concept in Western cultures. Customarily it is associated with strength in men and beauty in women. This gendered concept was transmitted through visual representations of the ideal female and male bodies, and ubiquitous media images resulted in the absorption of universal standards of beauty and health and generalized desires to achieve them. Today, genuine or self-styled experts—from physicians to newspaper columnists to advertisers—offer advice on achieving optimal health. Topics in this collection are wide ranging and include childbirth advice in Victorian Australia and Cold War America, menstruation films, Canadian abortion tourism, the Pap smear, the Body Worlds exhibition, and fat liberation. Masculinity is explored among drunkards in antebellum Philadelphia and family memoirs during the 1980s AIDS epidemic. Seemingly objective public health advisories are shown to be as influenced by commercial interests, class, gender, and other social differentiations as marketing approaches are, and the message presented is mediated to varying degrees by those receiving it. This book will be of interest to scholars in women’s studies, health studies, marketing, media studies, social history and anthropology, and popular culture.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S TOP TEN NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR A LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK SELECTION • A BOOKLIST EDITORS' CHOICE BOOK SELECTION One doctor's passionate and profound memoir of his experience grappling with race, bias, and the unique health problems of black Americans When Damon Tweedy begins medical school,he envisions a bright future where his segregated, working-class background will become largely irrelevant. Instead, he finds that he has joined a new world where race is front and center. The recipient of a scholarship designed to increase black student enrollment, Tweedy soon meets a professor who bluntly questions whether he belongs in medical school, a moment that crystallizes the challenges he will face throughout his career. Making matters worse, in lecture after lecture the common refrain for numerous diseases resounds, "More common in blacks than in whites." Black Man in a White Coat examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural, and economic factors at the root of many health problems in the black community. These issues take on greater meaning when Tweedy is himself diagnosed with a chronic disease far more common among black people. In this powerful, moving, and deeply empathic book, Tweedy explores the challenges confronting black doctors, and the disproportionate health burdens faced by black patients, ultimately seeking a way forward to better treatment and more compassionate care.
In this groundbreaking book, health-care attorney Daniel E. Dawes explores the secret backstory of the Affordable Care Act, shedding light on the creation and implementation of the greatest and most sweeping equalizer in the history of American health care. An eye-opening and authoritative narrative written from an insider’s perspective, 150 Years of ObamaCare debunks contemporary understandings of health reform. It also provides a comprehensive and unprecedented review of the health equity movement and the little-known leadership efforts that were crucial to passing public policies and laws reforming mental health, minority health, and universal health. An instrumental player in a large coalition of organizations that helped shape ObamaCare, Dawes tells the story of the Affordable Care Act with urgency and intimate detail. He reveals what went on behind the scenes by including copies of letters and e-mails written by the people and groups who worked to craft and pass the law. Dawes explains the law through a health equity lens, focusing on what it is meant to do and how it affects various groups. Ultimately, he argues that ObamaCare is much more comprehensive in the context of previous reform efforts than is typically understood. In an increasingly polarized political environment, health reform has been caught in the cross fire of the partisan struggle, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Offering unparalleled and complete insight into the efforts by the Obama administration, Congress, and external stakeholders, 150 Years of ObamaCare illuminates one of the most challenging legislative feats in the history of the United States. -- Kathleen Sebelius, former Secretary of Health and Human Services
Culture and Health offers an overview of different areas of culture and health, building on foundations of medical anthropology and health behavior theory. It shows how to address the challenges of cross-cultural medicine through interdisciplinary cultural-ecological models and personal and institutional developmental approaches to cross-cultural adaptation and competency. The book addresses the perspectives of clinically applied anthropology, trans-cultural psychiatry and the medical ecology, critical medical anthropology and symbolic paradigms as frameworks for enhanced comprehension of health and the medical encounter. Includes cultural case studies, applied vignettes, and self-assessments.
In Making Sense of Illness Robert Aronowitz offers historical essays about how diseases change their meaning. Each of the diseases or etiologic hypotheses in this book has had a controversial and contested history: psychosomatic views of ulcerative colitis, twentieth century chronic fatigue syndromes, Lyme disease, angina pectoris, risk factors for coronary heart disease, and the type A hypothesis. By juxtaposing the history of the different diseases, the author shows how values and interests have determined research programs, public health activities, clinical decisions, and the patient's experience of illness.
Mary Barr thinks a lot about the old photograph hanging on her refrigerator door. In it, she and a dozen or so of her friends from the Chicago suburb of Evanston sit on a porch. It's 1974, the summer after they graduated from Nichols Middle School, and what strikes her immediately—aside from the Soul Train–era clothes—is the diversity of the group: boys and girls, black and white, in the variety of poses you'd expect from a bunch of friends on the verge of high school. But the photo also speaks to the history of Evanston, to integration, and to the ways that those in the picture experienced and remembered growing up in a place that many at that time considered to be a racial utopia. In Friends Disappear Barr goes back to her old neighborhood and pieces together a history of Evanston with a particular emphasis on its neighborhoods, its schools, and its work life. She finds that there is a detrimental myth of integration surrounding Evanston despite bountiful evidence of actual segregation, both in the archives and from the life stories of her subjects. Curiously, the city’s own desegregation plan is partly to blame. The initiative called for the redistribution of students from an all-black elementary school to institutions situated in white neighborhoods. That, however, required busing, and between the tensions it generated and obvious markers of class difference, the racial divide, far from being closed, was widened. Friends Disappear highlights how racial divides limited the life chances of blacks while providing opportunities for whites, and offers an insider’s perspective on the social practices that doled out benefits and penalties based on race—despite attempts to integrate.

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