Masters in medicine: Part I. A look at population-based medical care

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11 Scopus citations


Recent trends toward managed health care have generated interest in developing strategies to manage the health care of a population as a whole. Population-based medicine places the individual patient within the context of the larger community, which is composed of both sick and well individuals; when viewed in these terms, only a small proportion of the people who consult a primary care physician are at risk for substantial morbidity. However, the physician serves as the central figure for delivering population-based health care to the entire community. Many strategies for population-based care contain the following 4 basic elements: 1. Identifying the health and disease states that are likely to be responsive to population-based care, 2. Applying principles of epidemiology to define the population-of-interest, 3. Assembling a multidisciplinary team, and 4. Building information systems to support ongoing surveillance of population-based care. To date, most of the published examples of population-based management have been conducted in managed care environments, but population-based management may also be used by a single physician practice or a small group practice. Programs aimed at health promotion or disease prevention are among the easiest to implement. By examining the results of an entire population with a given condition, physicians and their teams may begin to identify ways to improve the overall delivery of care, either by establishing new procedures or improving old ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-369
Number of pages17
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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