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Public Health is truly interdisciplinary.

Wasti, S. P., van Teijlingen, E. and Simkhada, P., 2020. Public Health is truly interdisciplinary. Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences, 6 (1), 21 - 22.

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PH truly interdisciplinary JMMIHS 2020.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.3126/jmmihs.v6i1.30544


There are some interesting on-going existential debates in Public Health. One of these is around the question whether Public Health is a single academic/professional discipline. There are two quite distinct and opposing views. Some argue that Public Health is a broad-ranging single discipline covering sub-disciplines such as epidemiology, management, health psychology, medical statistics, sociology of health & illness and research methods. Those who argue the latter, are implying that: (a) Public Health is the overarching dominant discipline, which brings these sub-disciplines together; and (b) that a true Public Health practitioner amalgamates all these individual elements. Others argue that Public Health is more an overarching world view or approach for wide-ranging group of professionals and academics. In this view some Public Health professionals are first trained as clinicians, others as psychologists, health economists, health management, statisticians, or demographers, and so on and have later specialised in Public Health. These debates are not purely theoretical debates as they can link to jurisdictional claims, about who can call themselves a Public Health practitioner and who can’t. This argument can go one step further to cover claims as to who can and who can’t legitimately practise or teach Public Health. The latter argument can be very divisive for Public Health, as it fails to recognise the important contribution made by other disciplines. But this is in fact not true as Public Health needs the full range of other professions and disciplines to lead and contribute to its teaching, research and consultancy practice. Public health has been a multidisciplinary enterprise since the latter half of the previous century.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Public Health ; Interdisciplinary ; multidisciplinary ; Medical Sociology ; Health Psychology ; Epidemiology
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:34416
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:10 Aug 2020 10:51
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:23


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