Global health is a passion of mine and I plan on making it a big part of my practice as a physician. I thought I would do a little global health series on the Merck Manual Med Student Stories and talk a little bit about global health. First, I thought it was only appropriate to start with the actual definition of global health. What is it? How is it different from public health or international health?
Global health, public health, and international health definitely overlap a lot. Public health deals with the health of populations and works on making a population healthier as a whole. Internationally health typically deals with infectious diseases that are prevalent in a specific area of the world. Global health is the field of medicine that aims to improve medicine and increase access to healthcare worldwide.
So what does all of this mean for someone who wants to work in the field of global health? Well, it is important to figure out where your passion lies and where you can make the biggest impact. Do you prefer public health or international health? Do you want to work behind the scenes or in the field? All great questions to ask yourself.
People who do work in global health can do advocacy for global health initiatives from the comfort of their homes. They can get involved with the government and do work in global health diplomacy. Or they can go abroad and actually be in the field treating patients. The classic scenario that we think of when we think of global health. However, this is a little trickier and has a lot more consequences than you would originally think. And this is what I am going to be diving into in this global health series. Stay tuned!