Currently, there are approximately 190 doctors per 100,000 individuals in the United States, compared to 246 lawyers, 402 accountants, and 536 college teachers. It can take 20 years or more plus a medical residency before a person can become a practicing physician.
The Whitehall Study and economist John Komlos ’s study of the height of Dutch people show that social factors such as where you live, what you do for a living, and how much money you earn, particularly in relation to other members of the society in which you live, have a greater influence on your health than health care and health-care systems.
This is true even of the lifespan in general, which is typically longer for whites than blacks or other minorities.
We ’ll talk about each of these theories in upcoming slides.
Females born in 2005 are expected to live for an average age of 80.1 years, while males are expected to live 74.8 years.
Beginning with the manual ’s third edition, there has been a much greater emphasis on diagnostic psychiatry (identifying symptoms of a specific underlying diseases and treating them) over dynamic psychiatry (identifying the internal conflicts that produce a mental illness).
Many psychiatrists consider the use of pharmaceuticals as simply one tool in the toolbox of ways to treat an individual, but as the medical profession becomes more like a consumer model and as pharmaceutical companies market their products directly to “consumers” through advertisements, it becomes more difficult for the medical professional to convince patients that using medicines alone might not be in their best interest.
Examples of these disparities include: Malaria, which is far from being eradicated in many countries, has been identified as a major obstacle to economic development. Antibiotics, one of the greatest medical achievements, are becoming less effective as antibiotic-resistant strains of diseases emerge and diseases once thought to have been “conquered” reappear. Even though a wide range of drugs have been developed to combat HIV and AIDS, the disease continues to ravage many developing countries because people (and governments) cannot afford to buy the drugs and, even if they can, their lack of access to proper nutrition and clean water can limit the drugs ’ effectiveness. Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GEO_Globe.jpg
Chapter 11 health & society
Doctors Have Socially Constructed Power
The Rise (and Fall?) of the Medical Profession• Doctors have a great amount of social power, political power, and prestige for a variety of reasons: • They offer a universally valued product—health and longevity. • There is a limited number of doctors due to the extensive education and training and the strict regulation of the profession. 3
What Does It Mean to Be Sick? Like many other seemingly universal or stable concepts, illness is a social construct: what it means to be sick (or healthy) has changed throughout history and differs from one place to another. 4
The U.S. Health-Care System• Unlike many other industrialized nations, the United States does not offer universal health care. The four main types of health-care coverage in the United States are: 1. fee-for-service 2. health maintenance organizations (HMOs) 3. Medicare 4. Medicaid 5
The U.S. Health-Care System• Technological advances in medicine have allowed for: • the detection of diseases, genetic anomalies in fetuses which raise difficult ethical questions and have major social implications. • multiple births (often due to assisted reproductive technology) and premature births, which present further medical and ethical dilemmas. 6
Technology and Medicinehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7zbFzyactI
Discrepancies in Health Care There are numerous health discrepancies between races in theUnited States, with whites having the best outcomes overall. The starkest differences can be found between whites and blacks. 8
Discrepancies in Health Care• While some of the discrepancy is due to differences in socioeconomic status, there are still significant differences between whites and blacks with the same income and education level, which implies that racism plays a role in people’s overall health. 9
Discrepancies in Health Care• There are three main theories that attempt to explain why people with higher socioeconomic status have better health: • selection theory • drift explanation • social determinants theory 10
Discrepancies in Health Care Selection theory the connection between low income andpoorer health – has mediating factors. For instance, other factors, like genetics, might affect both socioeconomic status and health. 11
Discrepancies in Health Care The drift explanationstates that there is a connectionbetween income and health. If you have poor health, you might be less likely to find gainful employment. 12
Discrepancies in Health CareSocial determinants theory states that social status can determine a person’s health. 13
Discrepancies in Health Care• Married people tend to live longer, but it is not clear whether marriage actually benefits a person’s health or if healthier people tend to get married.• Women live longer than men, which can be attributed in part to the types of illnesses each sex is more susceptible to as well as to how willing each sex is to seek medical care. 14
Discrepancies in Health Care• Large families and children born close together are both associated with higher child mortality rates, due to greater demands on parents’ financial and emotional resources. 15
The Sociology of Mental Health• The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) provides a standard categorization of mental disorders and their definitions. • Changes in this manual, particularly from its second to third editions, have strongly influenced how mental illness is understood and treated. • The DSM 5 argued over whether narcissism is a mental illness. 16
The Sociology of Mental HealthThere has been a significant increase in the use of pharmaceuticals to treat mental illness. Some negative aspects of this change include: • devaluation of the benefits of talk therapy • overprescribing or mis-prescribing of pharmaceuticals • stigma attached to taking medication for mental illness • increasing power of pharmaceutical companies. which have benefited from the growth of the diagnostic approach 17
Global Health• Health disparities between groups within the United States are dwarfed by the disparities that exist between the United States and developing countries.• Many developing countries are still struggling to provide their citizens with safe drinking water, sanitation, and basic health care. 18
Bottled Water and World Healthhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zn0qi80IIY