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10 pillars of knowledge: map of human knowledge
Public Health
Chaim Zins
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Public health is the study of the social and environmental conditions affecting health and illness. It is the science and art (profession) aimed at promoting health and preventing illness by facilitating social intervention. 
Public Health
Public health. The image: Handmade teddy bear, Clément Bucco-Lechat, 2012, CC BY-SA 3.0.©
Public health
1. Theory (metaknowledge)
      Philosophy of public health
         = The study of the philosophical and ethical aspects.
      History of public health
         = The study of the history of public health
      Sociology of public health*
         = The study of the social aspects of public health

      Research & evaluation methodology
         = The study of research and evaluation methodologies.
      Biostatistics* 
         = The study of using statistical-based research in PU.
      Public health education*
         = The study of academic and professional education.
2. Risks, diseases, and health conditions
      Epidemiology
         = The study of diseases & health conditions in populations.
3. Environment,
      (Public) Health policy*
         = The study of health policy on public health issues.
      (Public) Health economics*
         = The study of the economical aspects of public health.
      (Public) Health systems management & administration*
         = The study of the management and administrationof of 
         health systems and services on public health issues.

3.  Human behavior
      Health behaviour
        =
The study of the ways ways peoples' behaviors affect
        their health.

      Health education*
         = The study of educating people about health.
4.  Intervention
      Health education*
         = The study of educating people about health.
      Nutrition & food control*
         = The study of safe and healthy nutrition and food.
      Sanitation*
         = The study of the safe disposal of waste.

Post your proposed structure!

*needs to be discussed.
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Rationale
Confusing conceptions. While reviewing academic schools, departments and programs that are titled "public health" it is clear that the concept suffers from confusing conceptions. In many universities the concept represents a distinct field of knowledge. In others it is an umbrella name for diversified fields. Here we are focused on the conception of public health as a distinct field.

What is public health? Knowledge fields are defined by the phenomenon/a they explore. What is public health? What is the phenomenon/a it explores? As defined above, public health is the study of the social and environmental conditions affecting health and illness and the efficient social intervention aimed at promoting health and preventing illness.

Structure. While keeping in mind this conception we can start structuring the field. Public health has two main parts. The first is composed of the metaknowledge of the field (cat. 1). The second is composed of the subject-based knowledge (cat. 2-5).

Category 1, Theory, includes the metaknowledge of public health. It comprises knowledge on the philosophical, historical, sociological, methodological, and educational aspects of the field.
 
Categories 2-5 includes the phenomena-based aspects of public health. Based on the conception stated above public health has 4 main factors: (1) the health risks, diseases, and conditions, (2) the environment, (3) the human behavior, and (4) the methods of intervention. These factors set the rationale for the preliminary model.

Environment. The environment category (cat. 3) refers to the social  environment. It embraces policy issues, economical issues, and organizational issues, and the like. The natural/physical environment is reflected in the health risks, 
diseases, and conditions and it is treated in category 2.

Subfields. Note that the subfields of public health (e.g., epidemiology, health policy) are not part of the model. They are mapped by the model. Therefore, you can place them in several categories, change their names, erase them, or add new fields. (March 14, 2013)

Reflections
Post your comments on the conception and structure of the field!
Ronny Shtarkshall
The Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Homepage: http://ronnys.web4you.co.il,  

Public Health is a discipline dedicated to health and wellbeing. Its focus is not on the health and wellbeing of individuals but that of groups: populations and sub-populations.

Branches. Several topics stem from this interest. The first one that was developed is epidemiology (the quantitative description and analysis of the occurrence of diseases and other mishaps to human health like accidents or disabilities). Analytical epidemiology attempts to discern causal and protective factors to health of groups. A group in public health can be defined by geographic or administrative borders like dwellers of a specific mountain, island, town or state. It can be an ethnic group, an extended family or people working in a specific profession or a specific location. Another important areas of public health are health behavior, health education and health promotion.  Health behavior is the study of how peoples' behaviors (like smoking, drinking alcohol or doing physical exercise) influence their health. Health promotion looks at all the ways in which different types of interventions can enhance the health of groups or populations. Another area of public health is health administration and management and health economy.  This area deals with the organization of health institutions on different level and how this influences the health of populations.  It also deals with expenditure, economic alternatives, cost of health and cost effectiveness (March 5, 2013).

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March 2013  © Copyright Dr. Chaim Zins, Jerusalem, 2002-2013. All rights reserved. 
Chaim Zins, Knowledge Mapping Research, 26 Hahaganah St. Jerusalem, 97852 tel: 972-2-5816705 chaim.zins@gmail.com