When I arrived in Mbarara, Uganda I expected I would spend most of my summer conducting research the city's major public hospital. I wanted to understand how medical interactions shape health outcomes. What I did not expect was where my relationships with people there would lead me: into a whole variety of settings where patients are seeking wellness. As it turns out, the public hospital is often patients’ last resort; churches and herbalists are much more popular. My observations in these different domains have led me to rethink my doctoral dissertation research plan, so as to attend more closely to patients’ own worldview. How do they navigate the many healthcare options before them? When and why do they stop seeking healing from one source and instead, switch to another?
- Anna Eisenstein, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology, Joy Boissevain Scholar in Global Public Health; CGH Scholar 2015