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What is Public Health?

What is Public Health?


Vector control using chemical fogging

Using microscopy to search for malaria 

Public health is the science and art of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention.  Public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country.  Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or re-occurring through implementing educational programs, developing policies, administering services, and conducting research, in contrast to clinical professional, such as doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured.

Public Health Clinical Medicine
Population Individual
Health Disease
Prevention Treatment

Public health is a very diverse and dynamic field, incorporating may disciplines:

  • biology
  • sociology
  • mathematics
  • anthropology
  • public policy
  • nursing
  • medicine
  • education
  • psychology
  • computer science
  • business
  • engineering
  • environmental science
  • communications