Society for Medical Anthropology
Survey of Applied/Practicing Medical AnthropologistsNovember 30, 2007
SurveyLaunched 11/05/2007 - 1:35 PMClosed 11/30/2007Visits = 355Partials = 69Completes = 224
Total Number of Questions = 24
Whether currently member of SMA
Whether currently student member of regular member
Duration of SMA membership
Whether currently member of SFAA
Whether currently member of National Association of Practicing Anthropologists (NAPA)
Whether currently full-time or part-time anthropologist* e.g., Grad student, Research post-doc, On the Job Market,
If employed, work for:* e.g., University Faculty, College of Public Health, College of Nursing
Professional qualification: Highest degree*e.g., M. Phil, M.Ed., ABD
Whether multiple degrees
Multiple degrees(multiple responses)*e.g., Dr.PH, MSW, MA,ATRIC, CMP
Whether received highest degree training in Anthropology department or program
Whether practicing or applied medical anthropologist* e.g., Medical Anthropologist, Nurse Anthropologist, Professional Research Anthropologist
Prefer to be called as:(# of responses 214)Examples:I call myself an "applied medical anthropologist" to public health crowds, because I want to emphasize the practical qualities of my work. I call myself a "medical anthropologist" to social sciences crowds because I don't think it's necessary to highlight that part of my work that's applied. "Practicing" seems more involved in the community of the people and practice-based; "applied" seems application of knowledge, thus academic-based. I prefer the former.
If applied or practicing medical anthropologist, what do you do that is applied or practicing?(# of responses = 161) Examples:Anti-tobacco activities (especially work related to promoting laws to restrict public smoking). Development of public health interventions, evaluation of interventions, policy advocacy work, etc. Community-based research; interventions; program planning and evaluation
I run a non-profit organization that supports health projects in Africa and South America.
I develop health communications campaigns that address AIDS prevention
Whether working in a position that fully utilizes skills and knowledge as applied/practicing medical anthropologist
What SMA can do to better publicize, promote, or educate the public about the skills and qualifications of practicing or applied medical anthropologists(# of responses 153)Examples:Promote applied programs with a medical emphasis, encourage currently non-applied programs in medical anthropology to offer their students at least the fundamentals of applied anthropology.
Need to think of ways in which the SMA can have greater visibility in making statements about public policy...this would be one way for increasing the public's awareness of medical anthropology and what it is about.
Most relevant or most helpful services of the SMA(# of responses 152)Examples:1) Collegial networking at meetings 2) The creation of the Foster Award 3) The SMA website The journal, SMA conference sessions (1) intellectual nourishment through meetings and outstanding journal; (2) networking and diminution of sense of isolation
Needs that are particular to practicing/applied medical anthropologists and differ from those of academic medical anthropologists(# of responses 155)Examples:Developing an understanding of applied work among their peers Skills in grant writing Networking possibilities 1) Interdisciplinary communication effectiveness 2) Familiarity with other discipline's research methods; applied folks need much broader & stronger methods training 3) Greater concern about practical applications of findings for improving health problems in the 'real-world'
What SMA should do to better serve applied/practicing medical anthropologists(# of responses = 107)Examples:Development of guidelines for working in different sorts of applied domains outside the academy, and in liaising with medicine and public health institutions. Promoting research grants
Skills workshops, Ethics workshops, interdisciplinary workshops,
Whether SMA should sponsor more practicing skills workshops at professional meetings for anthropologists interested in applied medical anthropology
Suggested Workshops(# of responses = 131)Examples:How to negotiate a contract when doing consulting. Assisting students in getting articles printed.
Methodology oriented workshops, rapid assessment techniques, tips & tricks for doing qualitative work on a short timeline Professional development/careers; evaluation techniques; grant writing; retooling careers
Whether SMA should create a licensing or certificate program for applied or practicing medical anthropologists
Comments on licensing or certificate programExamples: Double-edged sword. Only if it serves the medical anthropologists well; not if it is just a "ticket" to appease other professions' sense of appropriate credentialing (b/c that leads us into other kinds of problems, both with those professions and within our own ranks) At first blush it looks good, but how does the principle of autonomy and remaining a critical medical anthropologist become protected under such a program? I have seen this trend in health and I frankly think it is bogus. Usually it is driven by people who are mediocre who want some kind of outside legitimization to charge more money or self gratification
Suggestions for the SMA Executive Board Example: In the past, much of medical anthropology has been devoted to attacking aspects of biomedical practices and institutions. While carefully structured criticism is very useful, I feel that more progress has been made when medical anthropologists worked in partnership with biomedical and health sciences people, with constructive criticism at times, but also constructive appreciation of the situations and issues faced by the medical and community health people.
Thank YouResults will be posted on the SMA websitehttp/www.medanthro.net