Medical anthropology starts with two insights: cultural premises, which are oftentimes implicit and difficult for the insider to recognize, shape the health-related knowledge and healing practices of every society; and disease patterns, social norms, and socioeconomic arrangements are intricately interrelated. More important for the development of medical anthropology than his diffusionist reconstructions was William Halse Rivers's declaration that "the practice of medicine is a social process, subject to the same laws, and to be studied by the same methods as other social processes". Medical anthropology, more than its sister disciplines, seeks to consider both the cultural and biological parameters of disease. The commitment of medical anthropology to a research strategy that builds on long-term participant observation also distinguishes it from other social sciences of medicine. This chapter aims to show that the anthropological approach can be applied as effectively to the culture of biomedicine as to less familiar healing traditions.