chapter  4
The Role of Anthropologists in Primary Health Care: Reconciling Professional and Community Interests
WithJohn M. Donahue
Pages 19

Anthropologists working in primary health care find themselves in a variety of social settings and exercising quite diverse roles. Anthropologists can be found in increasing numbers as consultants or employees within private voluntary organizations. As anthropologists are invited into national and international health organizations, they become aware of the bureaucratic and organizational constraints on the implementation of a community-based health care program. The issue of professional dominance is a major subject of sociological investigation both in general and as manifested in health programs. The history of folk healers in the medical division of labor in the United States can shed light on current relations between health professionals and non-professionals in the developing world. George M. Foster views traditional healers as transitional figures who may eventually become community health workers or whose roles may at least merge with that of the community health worker.