Difference Between Epidemiology and Clinical Medicine

Difference Between Epidemiology and Clinical Medicine


 1. In epidemiology the unit of study is "population" or "population at risk" while in Clinical Medicine the unit of study is a "case" or "cases".

2. In epidemiology, the epidemiologist is concerned with the disease patterns in entire population while in clinical medicine the physician is concerned with the disease pattern in individual patient.

3. Epidemiology is Concerned with the both "sick" and "healthy" (case and controls respectively) while clinicians are interested in cases with diseases.

4. Clinician is concerned with the diagnosis of disease, he derives a prognosis and prescribes specific treatment while an epidemiologist seeks to identify a particular source of infection, a mode of spread or an aetiological factor in order to determine a future trend and recommend specific control measures.
5. In clinical medicine patient comes to the doctor while in epidemiological studies epidemiologist goes out into the community to find persons who have the disease or experience of the suspected causal factor in question.

6. Clinician uses laboratory reports and post mortem reports to diagnose disease while in epidemiology the subject matter is conceptual and can only be symbolised in the form of tables and graphs.

Finally it may be concluded that clinical medicine and epidemiology are not antagonistic. Both are closely related, co-existent and mutually helpful