This lecture introduces the basic concepts of health, disease and
illness, words you will hear a lot in your professional career. It is worth thinking about
what people mean when they use them. Why? Because how we think about these concepts
determines what we will do when we meet them. In other words, how we conceptualize disease
determines how we go about responding to it. It is vital that in the early stage of your
medical education you develop an historically accurate picture of why medicine has come to
be the way it is and why people might behave in the ways that they do regarding health,
illness and disease.