Medical geography: a better name needed

The traditional “medical geography” has been replaced in discussions in the field of geography by “health geography.” Neither describe the field adequately. To me, the importance of medical geography is one of perspective and of methodology: a view of health and disease from the perspective of spatial patterns, and of human-environment relationships. “Medical” refers more to diagnosis and treatment. “Health geography” connotes, to me, a de-emphasis of disease, while most research in epidemiology and related areas deals with disease. “Disease geography” de-emphasizes health. So “epidemiologic geography”? “Geography of health and disease”? Please leave suggestions or comments.


About epihealth

Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology and Medical Geography, University of Washington, Seattle. Formerly Adjunct Prof, Depts of Medicine (Div of Infectious Diseases), Family Medicine, Health Services, and Global Health. President, Health Improvement and Promotion Alliance-Ghana Expertise in infectious diseases, epidemiology and clinical epidemiology, epi. of pain, community health, travel medicine, tuberculosis, disease control.
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1 Response to Medical geography: a better name needed

  1. Elisabeth Root says:

    I am actually a fan of your suggestion in the Companion to Health & Medical Geog of “public health geography”.

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