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Minoring in Medical Anthropology

Medical Anthropology addresses the biological, cultural, and political-economic dimensions of health, illness, and healing historically and at present. Research includes attention to the body as a site of symbols and evolutionary processes, suffering and healing as interpretive processes, and the multiple facets of affliction at individual and collective levels.

Biomedicine and a range of other healing systems come under scrutiny as social phenomena shaped by the impact of history, social organization, and dynamic relations of power. Thus, health issues are considered in relation to broader, intersecting systems of environment and ecology, gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, nation, and class subjectivities. A central contribution of medical anthropology is the critical analysis of how knowledge about health is constructed, deployed, and contested in various social arenas and for various purposes.

Programs of Study
Students may combine a focus in medical anthropology with one or more of the 3 departmental concentrations. The minor in Medical Anthropology is open to undergraduates who have chosen any major field of study in the university; many students who take premedical coursework have chosen to minor in our program. At the graduate level, students may apply for the PhD in Medical Anthropology.

Other units at UNC that may complement study in medical anthropology include: Social Medicine, School of Public Health, Carolina Population Center, the Center for Genomics and Society, the Shepps Center for Health Services Research, Occupational Sciences, Frank Porter Graham Institute for Child Development, the Institute for the Environment.

The Medical Anthropology option is especially appropriate for those planning for careers in medicine and health professions. The minor consists of five three-hour courses taken from the following list of courses: ANTH 66H, 143, 147, 148, 151, 217, 270, 278, 280, 315, 318, 319, 320, 323, 325, 326, 390, 405, 414, 422, 423, 426, 437, 439, 441, 442, 443, 444, 445, 446, 448, 470, 471, 473, 474, 535, 538, 585, 623, 624, 649, 650, AAAD 300 and 387. Students must have a grade of C or better in at least four of the five courses, and at least three courses must be taken at UNC-Chapel Hill or in a program officially sponsored by the University. Students planning on a minor in medical anthropology should inform the director of undergraduate studies in the department.

Faculty research and program strengths address the following thematic foci:
Biomedical anthropology
Critical analyses of health development, NGOs, and humanitarianism
Critical studies of disability
Evolutionary developmental biology
Evolutionary medicine
Growth and development
Historical epidemiology
Human ecology
Life history theory
Political economies of health
Science as social forms of knowledge and power
State power, health care systems, and the boundaries of citizenship

Medical Anthropology Faculty:

Lydia Boyd

Mara Buchbinder

Jocelyn Chua

Dale Hutchinson

Martha King

Paul Leslie

Michele Rivkin-Fish

Aalyia Sadruddin

Barry Saunders

Mark Sorensen

Amanda Thompson