Population Health and Traditional Medicine
When we think of population health in comparison to more traditional medicine,
there are several ways that can be used to illustrate the differences.
In traditional medicine, the doctor-client relationship is highly valued and the
focus is on individualized treatment. In population health, the approach is much more
focused on community groups of people and identifying ways to prevent disease among the
group. Administering immunizations is a good example of this type of healthcare.
How health problems are perceived
The process in traditional medicine is usually to respond to symptoms reported by a
patient. In other words, in reacting to symptoms, a physician makes a diagnosis and
recommends the treatment for an individual patient.
In population health the focus is on preventing rather than treating disease. It is
proactive rather than reactive. Oftentimes the approach is to change health habits by
informing people through mass media channels. It is in these ways that entire groups of
people can access this type of health care.