My name is Florence (feel free to call me Flo) and I’m a sophomore in bioanthropology. I’m also trekking down the pre-med path and hope to work in global medicine one day. I’m really interested in humans—our origin, ethics, culture, bones, you name it. Sometimes that doesn’t mix so well with science but approaching medicine and health from a humanistic standpoint is so important to me. What I hope to gain from this class is a deeper understanding of diseases and evolution beyond the molecular level. I have a feeling the material will be stimulating and teach me to wrap my mind around health issues in a different way.
As a global health chair for AMSA (American Medical Student Association) here on campus, I started the blog, The Health of Nations, as a way to educate the community about worldwide health issues, international observances, and discoveries in medicine. The blog draws attention to the reality of healthcare around the world, especially the toll it takes on underdeveloped nations. Two other blogs I found relevant to this course were Anthropomics and Somatosphere. On Somatosphere, I was gripped by an article reviewing Anne Pollock’s book, Medicating Race: Heart Disease and Durable Preoccupations with Difference. The book deals with the question of race, looking at a specific form of heart disease common in African Americans. During my high school years, an African American student from my school suddenly passed away from this form of heart disease. It’s a very real and serious illness that all students are now tested; but does its predominance in African Americans have something to do with a biological disadvantage? Pollock asks what defines race? Examining the overlaps of race, biology, and genetics opens up an interesting but controversial field. Check out the article here!