HLTH 360 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Public Knowledge, Voodoo Death, Functional Medicine
SchoolUniversity of Waterloo
Course CodeHLTH 360
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Common Sense- the endowment of natural intelligence possessed by rational beings; ordinary, normal or average
understanding; the plain wisdom which is everyone’s understanding.
The medical clichés and way of seeing the world are taken as common sense because medical professionals do not only control
access to many resources, but also have the power to construct public knowledge about health and illness.
Medical Model- based on scientific rationality emphasizing objective reality, precise measurement and elucidation of cause-
effect laws, by means of hypothesis testing and experimentation. Abnormalities can be named based on this structure.
Advantage- its foundation is accumulated knowledge of clinical facts and general laws concerning the cause, course, and
treatment of disease. Allow communities to be compared and resources to be diverted where it’s most needed.
Four common sense assumptions: the facts are the facts; given time and resources, science will accumulate a full
understanding of the facts about disease; medical advances offer the most effective way to combat disease; medical
treatment is the best remedy for ill people.
Facts are the facts- idea that objective, publicly, verifiable biological facts are what matters in health and disease. Disadvantage
is that it is impossible to pinpoint its onset. Ex- two diabetic sisters; voodoo death
Given time … disease- Historical analysis revealed that medical model evolved out of its social context, and does not represent a
progressive accumulation of objective truth.
Medical advances…disease- Steady declines in various acute diseases in the UK correlated with improvements in the sanitation,
housing and other social changes. Chronic disease’s incidence depends greatly on human behavior. Most disease are “suicide”
since it could have been postponed if healthier lifestyles would have been adopted.
Medical treatment… ill people- Argument that medical intervention is responsible for decreasing the well-being of a majority of
women during childbirth. Practitioners deliberately and unnecessarily used dangerous instruments.
Biopsychosocial Model- Biological, psychological, and social factors are all important determinants of health. Eg- person with
the cardiac arrest died due to myocardial injury or due to stress associated with staying in the hospital.
Ecological model – Different from biopsychosocial approach because of its insistence on the importance of the way individuals
perceive the systems in which they are nested, rather than on the importance of systems per se.
Microsystem- face to face environments such as individual’s perception of his or her workplace, family or friends.
Mesosystem- relationship between different microsystems and the conflicts associated with it.
Exosystem- Refers to perceived environments that affect the individual, into which he or she does not actually go.
Macro system- Refers to perceptions of wider cultural influences. Include ways of thinking and communicating, social
settings, and institutions.
Sociological social psychology- interplay between society and the unique meanings and other experiences of individuals.
Critical social psychology- subject matter the ways in which social world has been structured over time by inequalities in the
power of individuals and social groups. These social structures construct the individual, influence his self-image, life choices.
Psychological social psychology- a person’s beliefs about a disease might be more important determinants of behaviors
than its presence per se.
Trephining-hole drilled in the body so that the spirits leave the body.
Functional medicine- Asking why and not what and determining underlying causes
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