Public Health

Public health is a unique field among health professions. There is a focus on populations rather than individuals, and prevention rather than finding a cure. It is a scientific, evidence-based profession with a strong link to governmental agencies and politics. Charles Winslow, one of the great leaders in the history of public health, described its’ meaning as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, public and private organizations, communities and individuals” (Winslow, 1920). Modern public health is often concerned with addressing determinants of health across a population. There is recognition that our health is affected by many factors including where we live, genetics, our income, our educational status and our social relationships—these are known as “social determinants of health.”

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