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The history of EPSO

The Section for Epidemiology and Social Medicine was originally separated into two units.

Social Medicine

The first person to defend a thesis in Social Medicine at the University of Gothenburg was Anders Otterland (1920-2015) in 1961 . Gunnar Inghe, one of the founders of RFSU (Swedish Association for Sexuality Education) and in the eyes of many the father of Social Medicine, was the first Professor in Social Medicine when he was installed at the University of Gothenburg in 1961.

Social Medicine as a discipline was weakened during the ’80s but was strengthened in the ’90s when the Section of Social Medicine was founded. At this time the longitudinal survey Women and Alcohol in Gothenburg started which resulted in about 10 persons being employed at the Section.

During the ’90s the Section was involved with education at the medical doctor programme and at the beginning of the new Millennium the teaching was expanded to include Pharmacy. The Section continued to grow when the Public Health programmes were started at the Bachelor’s and one-year Master’s level. A two-year Master’s programme started a few years later in 2010 that gave the Section an international touch.

Since 1995 there have been 26 dissertations in Social Medicine at the Section and the theses have covered subjects such as women and alcohol, insurance medicine, work ability and pharmaceutical outcomes.

Public Health Epidemiology

The Public Health Epidemiology Unit was separated from the Section of General Practice but continued to share administrative and economic functions when it was founded in 2007. The Public Health Epidemiology Unit was partly founded as the administrative midpoint for the FORTE centre for epidemiologic studies on mental health and physical health interacting over the life course. The research at the Unit has traditionally been built on the population surveys that started as early as in the ’60s in collaboration with the Section of General Practice. During the few years of existence the Unit increased both in numbers of employees and the number of research projects but also in participation in teaching that has mainly been connected to the Public Health programmes.


Page Manager: Katarina Englund|Last update: 9/24/2015

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