Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jepicomhJournal of Epidemiology and Community HealthVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
J Epidemiol Community Health. 2007 November; 61(11): 932.
PMCID: PMC2465622

Aphorism of the Month

“Listen to the community: it's defining its own problems, and may well know what to do about them.”

The aphorism from clinical medicine, that you should listen to the patient because s/he is telling you the diagnosis, is well known. In public health, taking a careful and detailed history should contribute to a more valuable diagnosis and effective intervention in the same way, and will help to avoid paternalistic, top‐down approaches such as some of the dangers inherent in a naive approach to social marketing (see comments in this issue).

Articles from Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group