National Academy of Medicine

The Health of Complex Human Populations

By Gary Gunderson, Teresa Cutts, and James Cochrane
October 15, 2015 | Discussion Paper

Health care and public health are finding common—but conflicted—ground in population health. Current discussions in the two fields are collecting a large and growing set of tools, but with little clarity about which are appropriate for exactly what kind of work. Furthermore, neither field provides a clear explanation about how to manage this work within the field, including budgets, job descriptions, and evaluation methods, etc. that distinguish between good and better, efficient, effective or not. The following article offers four linked domains of thought and practice that together constitute a bridge from where we are to where we want to be—healthier people and institutions—by using the idea of the Leading Causes of Life as the supporting paradigm.



Suggested Citation

Gunderson, G., T. Cutts, and J. Cochrane. 2015. The Health of Complex Human Populations. NAM Perspectives. Discussion Paper, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. doi: 10.31478/201510b


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.