Date: 17 Apr 2007

Medical geography as a science of interdisciplinary knowledge synthesis under conditions of uncertainty

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Medical geography as a scientific discipline dates back to Snow’s 1854 static cholera maps, with contemporary work frequently addressing space–time aspects of health processes and their attributes. These organized systems may involve, for example, diffusion of an epidemic, a population disease pattern, or a healthcare network. The wide variety and disparate structures of these systems make medical geography a very interesting, yet challenging, field of research and development. As such, this field is interdisciplinary in nature, embracing conventional medicine, neo-Hippocratic viewpoints (e.g., holistic/natural remedies), environmental health, physical sciences, spatial perspectives, and cartographic representation. An understanding of disease and healthcare is sought in terms of in situ and juxtaposed place features (e.g., environmental factors), spatial interactions (e.g., migration), human exposure, and global climatic conditions. The goal is to synthesize these bodies of knowledge ...