Monday, April 22, 2013

Globalized Science



Science. A pool of knowledge, that in general seems absolute, is in some ways a philosophy. Much like other principles of philosophy such as existentialism and structuralism, science has a group of followers and haters. During the first few years of education, most people learn the foundation of science. Primary school students learn about the structure of plants or various types of animals. With time these children come to understand deeper concepts of both plants and animals. Further education means tapping into further parts of the spiral of knowledge. In college, these students are asked to do their own research and observations.  Suddenly, science is not all that simple and factual. Results do not match hypotheses. Researchers find dead-ends and conflicts in their studies all of the time. 

Medicine is one of many branches of science. Described as the science and art of healing, medicine covers a variety of health care practices grew to maintain and revitalize health through prevention and treatment of disease in human beings. In some ways medicine is also a philosophy. A global tool to save human beings from pain, even death, medicine is present in various cultures. Some cultures include medicine in religion, whereby medical practices are done during religious rituals. The ancient Mayans had shamans who acted as mediums between physical world and spirit world. These shamans were the chosen few who were trusted to cure and treat medical problems. The Mayan also equated sickness with the captivity of one’s soul by supernatural beings. However, in modern countries such as America, England and Germany, medicine is fact-based in the sense that treatments are products of extensive research and clinical trials. Doctors have to go through a long and grueling process to become licensed medical practitioners. Sickness is a result of external and/or internal factors which have caused a part of the body to react abnormally. 

With globalization, cultures are clashing and blending together as one. An American could seek medical care domestically or internationally. Nowadays, it is common for a patient to travel for hours on a plane in order to receive the treatment. For instance, my grandfather flew to Japan and Germany to consult with doctors and researchers there. In the end, he decided to receive treatment in Germany. Alongside the rapid growth in international health treatment, it is important to fill in the gaps between cultural perception of science, medicine and sickness. Medical professionals and researchers should explore the possibility of learning more than one principal of medicine. Interdisciplinary knowledge is important in treating patients of various cultural backgrounds. 

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