WCU instructor to give lesson on traditional Latino remedies

Michael Caudill with curandera named Elena who taught at the Latino Folk Medicine course he took at the University of New Mexico. Photo courtesy of Caudill.

A WCU Communication instructor, Michael Caudill, will be giving an in-depth lesson about Latino folk medicine and how it relates to western health care.

Caudill, who had extensive work at Los Angeles County Hospital in California and George Washington Hospital in Washington D.C. will be giving a video presentation on “curanderismo,” a spiritual form of medicine traditionally used by the Latino population. The lesson will revolve around how to integrate traditional and western medicines and the long history of curanderismo.

The lecture, which is taking place online on March 8, is aimed at providers in the health care field who may wish to know more about spiritual medicines and healing tactics. The lecture is organized through the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium.

“I want to use some of the techniques and knowledge of Latino folk medicine as a ‘carrier wave’ for getting the health information across,” said Caudill. “I also want people to feel more sufficient and satisfied as a health care provider if they are going to be staying in the field long term.”

Caudill has had extensive work with numerous health care providers, including The American Red Cross and The World Health Organization. Photo courtesy of Western Carolina University

Caudill got interested in spiritual remedies while working as a health care provider in Los Angeles.

“When you’re a health care provider you have to take on other cultures,” Caudill said. “Western medicine can conflict with some of the folk treatments that people come in with.  The idea is to take their traditional beliefs and use it as a carrier for the western health care advice that I was giving, which makes treatments easier to accept.”

Caudill is a trained Mobil Intensive Care Nurse and holds a Master’s degree from The American University School of International Service. He has a certificate in Latino folk medicine from The University of New Mexico.