In a perspective published last month in the International Journal of Epidemiology, three Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health epidemiologists make the case for advancing the field.
Epidemiology emerged as the study of health and its determinants and although it maintains this definition, the field has grown and changed tremendously. Current discussions among epidemiologists and public health experts revolve around balancing Descriptive Investigations, Causal Investigations, and Implementation Investigations.
The researchers suggest the following three axioms of epidemiology: 1) improving public health is the goal, 2) methods are a means to the end of answering public health questions, and 3) the occurrence, distribution, determinants and control of health states are important cornerstones to the study of both descriptive and inferential epidemiology. With this in mind, working together in multidisciplinary teams with a variety of skillsets and viewpoints is paramount to manifest and expand the critical role of epidemiology in the public health landscape.
The perspective was written by Dr. Bryan Lau, associate professor, Dr. Priya Duggal, associate professor, and Dr. Stephan Ehrhardt, associate professor, all in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology.