Week 11: Social Determinants of Health

Week 11: Social Determinants of Health

I grew up in an upper-middle-class family in the city of Ann Arbor. There was always good-quality food on the table and regular visits to healthcare providers. I’ve been healthy my entire life, with very few incidents of bad health. Since I lived in a suburban area, the air was clean, so I never acquired a respiratory disorder. My family also encouraged my brothers and I to do sports and exercise regularly. Therefore, my socioeconomic status and family upbringing didn’t harm my health. My other identities also haven’t harmed my health either. I’m a white, heterosexual, cisgender male, so I’m not negatively affected by the health situations and outcomes associated with race, gender, sex, or sexuality. To be honest, none of my identities have hurt my health in any way. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t me gloating or trying to sound elitist. I’m extremely grateful for the situation I was born into and continue to live in.

3 thoughts on “Week 11: Social Determinants of Health

  1. I relate heavily with your post fellow blogger. I too am part of virtually no minority group that would cause harm to my health in some way. This is one hundred per cent a blessing in every situation except for the one where you are trying to comment on a blog post about having your identity hurt your health in some way. However, there is something odd about me being able to say that and someone across the hall from me might not be able to say the same thing. The fact that biases and discrimination can affect the type of health care a person gets is an indicator of how far we still have to go as a country and as medical professionals. A primary goal of the medical field as a whole needs to be making sure that everyone gets equal treatment in regards to health no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, or gender.

  2. After seeing all the disparities within the different social determinants of health it is hard not to feel slightly ashamed that in the privileged state I grew up in, I wasn’t aware of all the wrongs that were happening around me. I was adopted from South Korea, but my upbringing in the upper-middle-class has put me in a position where I did not have to face any of these problems. Although, it is easy for me to see how easily bias could affect our healthcare system and how this could almost unknowingly happen around us. Bias has always been apart of our society, and I hope that as these problems finally becomes more evident that our society can reform.

  3. I would say that living in Kenya for the past few years, I breathe the tacit privilege of my identity, which is that of a foreigner and a Chinese whose family is socioeconomically well off. For this, I am very fortunate and grateful. To reiterate what has been said in previous lectures, there are biases that would favor one group of people, in Kenya, it is the foreigners. Although foreigners are a minority, they are in general more respected and taken more seriously. It’s sad that I happen to benefit from this; it means that there are others who are less fortunate solely because of the identities they are born into. With this said, as far as I could recall, I have not been negatively affected by my identity. Although Kenya’s overall healthcare quality is lower than that of first world countries, I am comfortable getting treated by a practitioner if I have a illness, and I can just go to the health clinic since I am covered by insurance. In addition to that, although there isn’t a myriad of food ingredient options to choose from, those that are available are mostly fresh and healthy. However, if I were to have lived back home in China, many foods are genetically modified, which might be harmful to one’s health. Also, there aren’t many pollutants in the air, this is most obviously felt when I go back to China and I get sick the first few days upon my landing. So living in Kenya for the past few years have affected my health in a positive way.

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