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Introduction To Medical Anthropology Essay

2233 words - 9 pages

Dr. Amanda Swain practices primary care at Student Health Services at the University of Pennsylvania. Swain’s exposure to the medical world began at a young age; she spent extended periods of her childhood in the hospital throughout her father’s illness. She went to Brandeis University with the intention of studying anthropology and archeology. However, after reflecting on her previous experiences in the hospital with her father and briefly shadowing a doctor, Swain ultimately decided to pursue medicine. She started the pre-medical track as a sophomore and was admitted to an early acceptance medical school program later in her college career. In the beginning of her medical training, Swain chose to pursue family medicine. This was the medical model she was most familiar with; she grew up in a small town on Long Island where the entire community went to the same doctor. Swain saw this doctor, whom she referred to by first name, from birth to early adulthood for all of her medical needs. Her positive experience with this doctor plus her familiarity with the field of family medicine ultimately influenced her choice of specialization. Swain graduated from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2002 and completed her residency in family practice at Thomas Jefferson University. Following her training, Swain accepted an offer to work as a primary care practitioner at the University of Pennsylvania’s Student Health Services. Swain’s background in family medicine makes her an ideal fit for her role as a healer; she is personable, knowledgeable, and able to handle the myriad of issues her patients present. Dr. Amanda Swain exemplifies the qualities of a biomedical healer.
First, Dr. Swain epitomizes a model biomedical healer because she genuinely cares about her patients. I have worked with Swain in medical and academic situations; she has been compassionate and warm in both. Last year, I saw Dr. Swain for recurrent episodes of streptococcal sore throat and tonsillitis. She was kind, friendly, and devoted to my recovery. For example, she constantly was in communication with me regarding my lab results and treatment options. She was extremely accessible to contact and willing to answer all of my questions. Similarly, Dr. Swain was approachable with regards to interviewing for this project. She responded to my emails of inquiry in a timely fashion and suggested we meet in a casual, welcoming location such as a Houston Hall lounge. On the day of the interview, she arrived to our designated meeting place early and excited. We took a spot on a padded, cozy window seat and proceeded to converse for the next hour. Despite the somewhat chaotic environment of the lounge, Dr. Swain focused on our conversation. She answered each question thoughtfully and honestly; she seemed genuinely invested in my work. When the interview came to a natural ending, Dr. Swain wished me well and emphasized that I should contact her with any further questions. Swain’s disposition allows...

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