USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Meghan O'Quinn

First Advisor

Thesis Director: Dr. Ella Schmidt, College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida at St. Petersburg



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In this paper, the multifaceted issues surrounding women's health in South America will be explored with a focus on the history of medical practices and how changing political and social tides affect the success of health services. Issues of sexism, racism, and religious influence have shaped how medicine is distributed and received. The interrelatedness of social issues and day-to-day medical care will be explored. The Centro de Salud in Pisac, as well as other programs, will be used as a case study in which the current challenges faced by women are examined. In addition, both grassroots and top-down efforts to revitalize indigenous medicinal knowledge and to improve healthcare will be discussed. I will argue that the problems faced in biomedical settings in the Andean region are rooted in a history of malpractice, overt racism, and the refusal to incorporate culturally significant ethnomedical practices into treatments and therapies. Finally, I will argue that grassroots organizations are the best method of address inadequate health care.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

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