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Public Health Spaces

A Public Health Stranger in the Land of Medical Care

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Posted by Stewart Auyash at 10:37PM   |  9 comments

Public health spaces are everywhere.

Public health is about prevention through collective action involving teams of health professionals from engineers, to basic scientists, policy makers, health providers, and dozens of others.

Medical Care is about treatment and cure primarily revolving around the physicians’ treatment of individuals. About 95% of resources in the US go toward medical care.

So as public health advocate, medical care is “strange” to me as in the metaphorical sense that Heinlein presented in his famous novel. This blog will attempt to articulate my public health position as a counterpoint to the dominance of medical care.

In other words, I am a public health stranger spying on the spaces occupied and colonized by medical care. 


Your observation about the dominance of medical care over public health is very insightful. I would like to offer two possible explanations. First, while health is often taken for granted by the young, this neglect is made worse by the modern lifestyle - work is hectic; material well-being is priced above others; among other bi-products of progress.
Second, as there is more money to be made in cure than prevention, businesses in medical care have tried various means to raise the demand for their products and services even though there may be more effective means. For example, although there is evidence that nutritional means are more effective than medical treatments that are way more expensive, only a relatively small amount of research and education focuses on it. The reason is obvious: if we all simply started changing our diets in order to prevent/mitigate health problems, pharmaceutical companies would be out of business.

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