Recently, I had the privilege of listening to Dr Arthur Kleinman talk about why theory is important to the practice of global health. As many of you know, Dr Kleinman has co-written a book titled "Reimaging Global Health," and in particular a chapter titled, "Unpacking Global Health: Theory and Critique." While I'm neither strong on theory, nor passionately interested in it, focusing on theory makes me think about what and why I'm doing what I do in global health, like how much do I fall into my own "rigidity of habits," as Dr Kleinman puts it; how often do I examine the unanticipated consequences of what I do?; how much am I impacting not just the biological/physical, but also some of the social causes of problems?
I've attached two sets of slides (similar but with some variation) and an article, all written by Dr Kleinman who was kind enough to let me share them here. I encourage even the most theory-averse to take a look because we are interfacing with these theories, whether we're aware of it or not.