Medical sociology is one of the significant subdisciplines of general sociology. As a core social science sociology is concerned with the analysis of general principles and culturally varying processes of developing societal structures, institutions, and patterns of relationships among humans. Medical sociology (more recently often termed “health sociology”) applies the theories and methods of general sociology to the analysis of two main areas of inquiry: first, the social determinants of human health and health-related behavior, and second, the social organization of health care, health professions, and their interaction with patients. The former area is termed “sociology in medicine,” due to its problem-oriented approach that integrates sociological and biomedical knowledge, whereas the latter area is termed “sociology ofmedicine” as it analyzes the health care system from a more distant perspective as part of a broader social system. Medical sociology evolved from...
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