The Association for Anthropology and Medicine(AGEM) was founded in Hamburg in 1970 and is a non-profit association with legal capacity, an association of researchers and persons and institutions promoting science. It promotes interdisciplinary cooperation between medicine, the history of medicine, human ecology, medical sociology and psychology, the life sciences and the cultural and social sciences, especially ethnology and folklore, with the aim of intensifying the study of all medical cultures worldwide. It does this primarily by publishing the journal Curare, organizing scientific symposia, and collecting and documenting literature related to the topic and compiling relevant information on its website.
Until 2018, the AGEM was called „Arbeitsgemeinschaft Ethnomedizin”. However, the term „ethnomedicine” has changed its meaning in public discourse over time, and today’s common associations and uses of the term no longer correspond to the intentions of the founding of the AGEM as laid down in its statutes. Instead, since about 2000, the terms „Medizinethnologie”, „Medizinanthropologie” and „Medical Anthropology” have become more and more established in German-speaking anthropology for what the AGEM already formulated as its own goals and tasks in 1970. In order to avoid corresponding misunderstandings, the journal „Curare”, published by AGEM, has already changed its subtitle from „Zeitschrift für Ethnomedizin und transkulturelle Psychiatrie” to „Zeitschrift für Medizinethnologie” in 2008 (for the 31st year). Also, on the AGEM website and in the AGEM correspondence, the term „ethnomedicine” was replaced by phrases such as „interdisciplinary field of ethnology and medicine” long before the renaming. Moreover, in the international discussion and the international perception of the association, the term „ethnomedicine” as a German-language neologism (1955) easily leads to misunderstandings, because the term cannot be translated as „ethnomedicine”. „Ethnomedicine” is understood especially in the Anglo-American area as a subfield of the „Medical Anthropology” there, which is why the AGEM has partly put the term „ethnomedicine” in quotation marks in English texts already since the 1980s. In order to do justice to these developments and to adapt the name of the association to its common practice, it was decided at the 2018 members’ meeting to rename the association „Arbeitsgemeinschaft Ethnologie und Medizin (AGEM)”. Translated into English, the name will be „Association for Anthropology and Medicine (AGEM)”.