The above poster was utilized during World War II to education British citizens on healthy eating during times of food rationing, according to http://blog.vegbox-recipes.co.uk/2011/07/21/get-healthy-with-dr-carrot/. This idea of educating the public on health issues leads me to today’s topic. What is the field of public health exactly? Well, recently I gathered my convictions and typed “What is Public Health?” into my Google search bar. Guess what? There is an actual website called www.whatispublichealth.org and it is really neat! You can watch an interactive presentation all about public health right on the homepage. Click on the link and watch for yourself. Here are a few details about the definition of Public Health from the website:
Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. Public health professionals analyze the effect on health of genetics, personal choice and the environment in order to develop programs that protect the health of your family and community.
Overall, 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 throughimplementing educational programs, developing policies, administering services, regulating health systems and some health professions, and conducting research, in contrast to clinical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. It is also a field that is concerned with limiting health disparities and a large part of public health is the fight for health care equity, quality, and accessibility.
The field of public health is highly varied and encompasses many academic disciplines. However, public health is mainly composed of the following core areas:
- Behavioral Science/Health Education
- Emergency Medical Services
- Environmental Health
- Health Services Administration/Management
- International/Global Health
- Maternal and Child Health
- Public Health Laboratory Practice
- Public Health Policy
- Public Health Practice