How could the U.S. health-care system benefit from being more accepting of "alternative" therapies, such as acupuncture? Why do women seek alternative therapies more often than men? How does Canada incorporate alternative care into its national health-care system?
Those questions are among those being researched by Amie M. Sherwood '01 of Hamilton, New York, for an honors project in sociology.
She began her research during the summer as a North Country Fellow, meaning that she received grant funding from the University for her expenses, which included travel throughout northern New York State and southern Ontario. Sherwood is continuing her research during her senior year, and recently returned from University-sponsored travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, and San Francisco.
"I am comparing and contrasting the U.S. and Canadian health-care systems," Sherwood says, adding that she is interviewing all sorts of practitioners, including acupuncturists, herbalists, aromatherapists, massage therapists and traditional medical doctors, to get information.
"I want to find out what we cam do to improve health care in the United States," Sherwood says. "Canada has much better health care, and they are more accepting of alternative health-care practices. I want to see if it could work here. Not much research has been done on this topic so far."
In addition to completing an honors project, Sherwood says that she may continue her studies in graduate school, focusing on public health issues.
On campus, Sherwood is a resident of the Outdoor Alternatives "theme house," one of several at St. Lawrence where students interested in environmental issues may live. She also has studied in Austria, participated in crew as a club sport and has tutored area school children in reading.