Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Folk Studies and Anthropology

Document Type



Approximately 60% of patients surveyed (in Albany, KY) practice folk medicine, which suggests that a significant segment of the population may practice folk medicine. Patients typically use folk medical treatments concurrently with conventional medical treatments; while the interaction of these treatments is generally innocuous or positive, folk medical treatments can sometimes be harmful, lead to negative interactions with other drugs prescribed by a conventional medical professional. Since folk medicine and conventional medicine frequently interact, it is important for medical professionals to be aware of and address folk medical practices in a conventional medical environment. In order to better address folk medical practices in a conventional medical environment, doctors should establish a good rapport with patients, undergo education and sensitivity training regarding folk medicine, and include questions about a patient’s use of folk medicine into the initial doctor/patient discussion. If these steps are taken, patients will feel as though their cultures/beliefs are respected, and doctors will be able to both prevent negative consequences regarding the use of folk medicine, and allow patients to benefit from effective folk medical practices.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Professor Ann Ferrell


Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Anthropology