An important “new” area of health research that is a hybrid between geography and medicine dealing with the geographic aspects of health and healthcare. Medical geography studies the effects of locale and climate upon health. It aims to improve the understanding of the various factors which affect the health of populations and hence individuals. It is also called health geographics.
The idea that place and location may influence health is not exactly new. It is an old idea and a fertile one. Since Hippocrates (circa 3rd century BC), it has been known that certain diseases such as malaria occur in some places and not others (and for good reason). Malaria is not a disease of mountain tops. It lurks in lowlands where mosquitos breed and sting, to convey the parasitic agent of the disease — plasmodium.
A classic piece of research in medical geography was in done in 1854 as cholera gripped London. Death tolls rang around the clock from church towers. People feared they were being infected by vapors coming from the ground. A physician by the name of John Snow thought that, if he could locate the source of the disease, it could be contained. He drew maps showing the homes of people who had died of cholera and the locations of water pumps. He found that one pump, the public pump on Broad Street, was central to most of the victims. He figured that infected water from the pump was the culprit. He instructed the authorities to remove the handle to the pump, making it unusable. The number of new cholera cases plummeted. The Broad Street pump was the source of cholera.
In the early 20th century a couple of dentists in Colorado noticed that children living in areas with high levels of naturally-occurring fluoride in groundwater had fewer dental caries. Their discovery of the value of fluoride came from the application of medical geography (which, since this is dental geography, might be better called health geography).
- Medical helminthology
The field of medicine that pertains to helminths (worms) capable of disease in people. For more about these worms, see “Helminth.” The public health impact of medical helminths is appreciable. Two billion people are infected by soil-transmitted helminths such as Ascaris, hookworms, and Trichuris trichiura and by schistosomes. Early childhood infections by soil-transmitted helminths delays […]
- Medical history
1. In clinical medicine, the patient’s past and present which may contain relevant information bearing on their health past, present, and future. The medical history, being an account of all medical events and problems a person has experienced is an important tool in the management of the patient. 2. The history of medicine.
- Medical journal, first American
First American medical journal.
- Medical journals
the “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.” The other was the “Journal des Scavants” (Scholars) which appeared in France the same year. From these 2 journals are descended the many thousands of scientific periodicals today, including all those devoted to the biomedical sciences and medicine, whether they be in print or newer media such as […]
- Medical jurisprudence
The branch of the law that deals with the application of law to medicine or, conversely, the application of medical science to legal problems. Medical jurisprudence may be involved in cases concerning genetic relationships (eg, paternity testing) or injury or death resulting from violence. An autopsy may be done to help determine the agent of […]