医学人类学在20世纪中期成为正式的研究领域。它的根源在于文化人类学，它将该子领域对社会和文化世界的关注扩展到与健康，疾病和健康有关的主题。与文化人类学家一样，医学人类学家通常使用人种学 – 或人种学方法 – 进行研究和收集数据。人种学是一种定性研究方法，涉及完全沉浸在所研究的社区中。人种学家（即人类学家）在这个独特的文化空间中生活，工作和观察日常生活，这个空间被称为野外场所。第二次世界大战后，人类学家开始将人种学方法和理论应用于世界各地的健康问题的过程正式化，医学人类学变得越来越重要。这是一个广泛的国际发展和人道主义努力的时代，旨在为全球南方国家带来现代技术和资源。事实证明，人类学家对基于健康的倡议特别有用，他们利用其独特的文化分析技能帮助制定适合当地实践和信仰系统的计划。针对卫生，传染病控制和营养的具体运动。自从该领域早期以来，医学人类学对民族志的研究方法已经发生了变化，这在很大程度上要归功于全球化的发展和新通信技术的出现。虽然人类学家的流行形象涉及生活在遥远地区的偏远村庄，但当代人类学家在从城市中心到农村小村庄，甚至社交媒体社区的各种现场进行研究。有些人还将定量数据纳入其民族志工作中。一些人类学家现在设计多学位研究，他们在不同的野外工作场所进行民族志实地考察。这些可能包括同一国家农村与城市空间的医疗保健比较研究，或将生活在特定地区的传统现场实地工作与社交媒体社区的数字研究相结合。一些人类学家甚至在世界各地的多个国家开展单一项目。这些现场工作和野外场地的新可能性共同拓宽了人类学研究的范围，使学者能够更好地研究全球化世界中的生活。
Medical anthropology emerged as a formal area of study in the mid-20th century. Its roots are in cultural anthropology, and it extends that subfield’s focus on social and cultural worlds to topics relating specifically to health, illness, and wellness. Like cultural anthropologists, medical anthropologists typically use ethnography – or ethnographic methods – to conduct research and gather data. Ethnography is a qualitative research method that involves full immersion in the community being studied. The ethnographer (i.e., the anthropologist) lives, works, and observes daily life in this distinctive cultural space, which is called the field site. Medical anthropology grew increasingly important after World War II, when anthropologists began to formalize the process of applying ethnographic methods and theories to questions of health around the world. This was a time of widespread international development and humanitarian efforts aimed at bringing modern technologies and resources to countries in the global South. Anthropologists proved particularly useful for health-based initiatives, using their unique skills of cultural analysis to help develop programs tailored to local practices and belief systems. Specific campaigns focused on sanitation, infectious disease control, and nutrition. Medical anthropology’s approach to ethnography has changed since the field’s early days, thanks in large part to the growth of globalization and the emergence of new communication technologies. While the popular image of anthropologists involves living in remote villages in far-off lands, contemporary anthropologists conduct research in a variety of field sites ranging from urban centers to rural hamlets, and even in social media communities. Some also incorporate quantitative data into their ethnographic work. Some anthropologists now design multi-sited studies, for which they conduct ethnographic fieldwork in different field sites. These might include comparative studies of health care in rural versus urban spaces in the same country, or combine traditional in-person fieldwork living in a particular place with digital research of social media communities. Some anthropologists even work in multiple countries around the world for a single project. Together, these new possibilities for fieldwork and field sites have broadened the scope of anthropological research, enabling scholars to better study life in a globalized world.