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Promoting and strengthening public health through undergraduate education

Authors
  • Walker, Ali1
  • Doyle-Baker, Patricia2
  • 1 University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, AB, T1K 3M4, Canada , Lethbridge (Canada)
  • 2 University of Calgary, Faculty of Kinesiology and Environmental Design, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada , Calgary (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Canadian Journal of Public Health
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Apr 26, 2019
Volume
110
Issue
3
Pages
327–330
Identifiers
DOI: 10.17269/s41997-019-00217-0
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

There are widely divergent views as to what constitutes “public health” and “public health research”. But regardless of these views, readers of this journal would likely agree that public health matters; we assert that so does the educational programming that prepares its workforce. Our voiced perspectives as authors are influenced by our respective training, occupations, and academic locales, and we believe that undergraduate public and population health education (UGPPHE) across many disciplines is crucial to strengthening public health in Canada. Existing literature and discourse related to UGPPHE in Canada tends to be concentrated around its ancillary positioning within clinical health disciplines such as medicine, nursing, and dentistry, rather than on the evolution of undergraduate degree programs. While UGPPHE programming has the important function of preparing undergraduates to enter into practice as public health professionals, it has added virtue in its capacity to improve public health literacy and produce a more robust body of informed and engaged citizens. The intent of this commentary is to draw increased attention towards the other disciplines less well known for bringing awareness to UGPPHE in Canada and to commence what will hopefully be a cascade of dialogue from stakeholders across the nation.

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