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What is Health Science?

posted Jun 15, 2014, 12:29 PM by Ezra Lockhart   [ updated Jun 19, 2014, 12:37 PM ]
I get asked often: What is health science? Broadly speaking, health science is the scientific research of health and health-related issues. Due to the overarching nature of health science the field and study are interdisciplinary and contains many sub-disciplines. By no means a comprehensive list here is a few major disciplines under health science:
  • Clinical Physiology
  • Dentistry & Dental surgery
  • Dietetics
  • Geriatrics
  • Health Informatics
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Physical fitness
  • Physical Therapy
  • Primary care
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Radiology
  • Recreation Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Social Work
  • Speech and Language Pathology

It is easier to conceptualize Health Science as a cluster of five pathways: 
The Health Science cluster is divided into 5 pathways
  • Biotechology Research and Development, 
  • Health Informatics,
  • Diagnostic Services,
  • Support Services, and 
  • Therapeutic Services. 
The Wisconsin Career Pathway Project does an excellent job in illustrating this concept. Click on the diagram to learn more.

While health science is concerned with validating health-related knowledge, methods and interventions the application of such knowledge would be considered healthcare. Careers within this field cover a large area of prevention- and treatment-focused professions including public health, environmental health, health and fitness educators, medical professionals, pharmacists, nurses, PT/OT/SLP therapists, etc.