“Anthropology of Health” Program at McMaster University, Canada (summary)

© 2011 E.S. Piterskaya

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Key words: anthropology of health, interdisciplinary approach, health care

Abstract: Present review continues the series of publications on university programs on Medical Anthropology in USA and Canada. It is devoted to the program “Anthropology of Health” at McMaster University in Canada. Based on problem based learning and interdisciplinary approach this program aims at training of highly professional anthropologists able to apply their knowledge and skills in various spheres. The faculty supports the use of research methods of social sciences and humanities, as well as natural sciences. Strong emphasis is made on the field work within the Native communities, NGOs and social organizations.

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Research topics of the faculty, MA and PhD students represent a wide spectrum including historical aspects of health and disease, study of ancient DNA and molecular processes, analysis of contemporary health policy of the Canadian government, mental health of children and youth, health of aboriginal populations, etc.

Except conventional lectures and seminars each two weeks MA and PhD students attend the graduate methodological workshop where they acquire such practical skills as writing grant applications, making public presentations, writing analytical papers, etc. Also this workshop is used as a platform to discuss near anthropological topics that attracted students’ attention and interest.

Faculty takes part in the whole variety of large scale research projects such as Indigenous Health Research Development Program and “From Knowledge to Practice: Vitamin D and New Canadian Mothers and Children”. Majority of such projects is developed in cooperation with other leading Canadian universities and research centers like the University of Toronto and the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health.

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