• Latin American social medicine: contributions and challenges Temas de Actualidad

    Iriart, Celia; Waitzkin, Howard; Breilh, Jaime; Estrada, Alfredo; Merhy, Emerson Elías

    Abstract in English:

    This piece presents and analyzes a number of issues related to social medicine: the context of the emergence of social medicine; the differences between social medicine and public health; the theories, methods, and debates in social medicine; the main subjects or problems considered in social medicine; and the difficulties of disseminating the concepts of social medicine among English-speaking persons and among medical and public health professionals in general. Latin American social medicine has challenged other views by contributing to an understanding of the determinants of the health-disease-health care process and by using theories, methods, and techniques that are little known in the field of public health. Introducing Latin American social medicine, especially among English speakers, will be difficult due to the conceptual complexity of this field for persons who are accustomed to the theoretical framework of public health and medicine and also due to skepticism concerning research coming from the Third World. A multidisciplinary team is facing this challenge through two primary initiatives: 1) the creation of an Internet portal and database where there are structured abstracts in English, Portuguese, and Spanish of books, book chapters, and articles on social medicine and 2) the electronic publication of two journals on Latin American social medicine.
Organización Panamericana de la Salud Washington - Washington - United States
E-mail: contacto_rpsp@paho.org