What is Public Health?

So, what exactly is public health? It’s not a funny question. It is actually one we hear often and hope to clear up some of your questions.

Dictionary.com defines public health as “the health of the population as a whole, especially as the subject of government regulation and support.”

Although public health does not have to be a government intervention, many public services use public health research to support its reasoning (e.g. chlorine to keep water clean, or fluoride in our tap water). There are many examples of public health that we are sure you’re familiar with, but in general, we look at public health as community health. Public health is prevention. Doctors treat sick people, public health tries to prevent people from getting sick! Public health is broad and includes epidemiologists, toxicologists, nutritionists, health educators, and so many other professions working to track down diseases, prevent outbreaks, decrease injuries and improve the quality of life for people around the world.

Non-BPH majors or minors, consider taking PHC 2100: Introduction to Public Health to expand your knowledge about the subject and how it can fit into your future career.

For more information, watch a video from the American Public Health Association website about public health.