Are We There Yet?

Medicine and public health should be better integrated to improve population health in the U.S. This article presents conflicts encountered in the past, and discusses initiatives that may help align community health with clinical medicine.

In 1916, a decision was made to create schools of public health separate from schools of medicine. To this day, there remains a split between primary care and public health. Better integration between the two can help enhance quality of life and improve population health outcomes. Concentrated efforts on population health and identification of concerns can be coupled with primary care’s ability to use this information for health interventions.

Key Findings:

  • Long-term financial support and infrastructure must be in place for medicine and public health to integrate successfully.
  • Communication between medicine and public health needs to come together and should include all parties involved. Everyone from the state and federal levels to the general public should be a part of a more efficient reporting process.
  • Clinicians and public health officials need to band together. They should begin collaborating to meet the needs of the communities they serve as one.

Bridging the cultures of medicine and public health together will only improve population health both locally, and throughout the nation.