Evidence-based advocacy: the public roles of health care professionals

Russell L Gruen
Med J Aust 2008; 188 (12): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb01843.x
Published online: 16 June 2008

Scientific evidence and the relationship between the medical profession, politics and the public are dynamic and inter-related

In 1848, Rudolf Virchow asserted that “medicine is a social science, and politics nothing but medicine on a grand scale”.1 Regarded by many to be the father of modern pathology, Virchow saw clear responsibilities for doctors to engage with the broader social concerns that cause illness and harm.

  • Russell L Gruen

  • University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.



Much of the work on which this article is based was undertaken while I was a 2002–2003 Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy at Harvard School of Public Health, sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund, and a Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School in Boston. I thank Dr John Furler of the University of Melbourne for his comments on an earlier draft.


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