Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Major Professor

Dawood Sultan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Bernd Reiter, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Deanna Wathington, MD, MPH, FAAFP.


birth weight, culture, wellness, environmental insult, social determinants


Achieving complete health requires a deep understanding of complementary cultural competency sensitivity between physician and patient. This may include but is not limited to access to preventative health care resources, access to health educational resources and access to cultural healing resources, for example, shamans, Ayurvedic physicians, and herbal healers. Advocates of cultural competency emphasize great importance on knowledge of the patients' cultural background; however, the transcendence of this knowledge can be explained further through complementary cultural competency sensitivity. This is when the cultures of the physician and patient complement each other in terms of understanding what is in the patients' best interest in the overall goal of healing and complete health for the patient. The explanation of this concept revolves around the idea that health is not just found within body wellness physically, but also mentally and emotionally. The tragedies of poor health outcomes we face have psychological repercussions with a significant social determinant that bio-medical medication cannot and should not solve. The purpose of research includes theoretical discussions that address questions of: What roles do Evidence Based Results play for Medical Anthropologists? How will having knowledge of socioeconomic status, cultural practices and determinants of environmental insult and structural violence as experienced by the individual patient influence the facilitation of the process of creating a positive health outcome for the patient? How can "End of Life" issues be better addressed? How does language influence health? Does a positive dialogue between health professionals and patients contribute to better health outcomes? Research will emphasize the idea that Ethnomedicine (traditional medicine) and Western Bio-medicine complement each other within the model of complementary cultural competency sensitivity. The Holistic Complementary Structure of Western Bio-medicine and Traditional Healing is a multifaceted mean by which the manifestations of complete and positive health results occur. The methods of research used in the research include ethnographic interview content discussions, primary and secondary literature sources, and research of bio-statistical data. The interview discussions consist of dialogue with Medical Anthropologists, a Nurse Practitioner, a Global Health Studies Ph.D. professor and an Africana Studies Ph.D. professor. In order to prove the hypothesis, explanations through examples of Ethnomedicine (traditional medicine) and Western Bio-medicine working together, show how the combination of the two modalities along with the factors of complementary cultural competency sensitivity between patient and physician contribute to positive health outcomes.