What is Epidemiology?

Epidemiology is the study of patterns of disease and injury in a population and the factors that affect health. Epidemiologists rely on biology, biostatistics, GIS and social science to study diseases in populations in their environments. Because epidemiology focuses on populations, it is the basic science of public health, community medicine, and preventive medicine.

Our epidemiologists design and implement observational studies (e.g. patterns of disease) or interventional studies of medical and behavioral treatments in defined populations to examine:

  • Efficacy (can it work?)
  • Effectiveness (does it work in routine circumstances?)
  • Cost-Effectiveness (is it worth the cost?)

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Teresa M. Waters, PhD
Department of
Preventive Medicine
66 N. Pauline Street, Suite 633
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-5900