The word “epistEM”, a term coined by the National Academy of Sciences to describe the “epidemiology” of a disease, was invented in the 1980s to describe a new class of infectious agents, such as Ebola virus or SARS.
The first known instance of the word “Epistemic” was published in 1981, but its first usage as a medical term was in 2000 by Nobel laureate Stephen J. Gould, who was an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
Since then, the term has appeared more than 200 times in medical textbooks.
The National Academy’s latest report, titled “The Use of Epistemic and Epidemic in Health Care Practice,” examined how medical and public health professionals use the word.
In a discussion on the report’s topic, the academy’s chair, Richard S. Feynman, said the word has been a favorite with health care professionals for years.
“It’s become the term of choice,” Feynunman said in the prepared text.
“The use of the term is almost as important as the use of any term.”
The academy’s report noted that there are two broad types of “epic” disease: ones that have a direct impact on people’s lives and those that are “episodic” in nature, meaning they happen at random, such the flu, the coronavirus or the Zika virus.
Epistemological disease is defined by the Academies as “a disease that occurs at random and affects a person’s daily life.”
Epidememic disease is a more complex category.
“Epidemic” refers to any disease that can be caused by one or more events, such infectious disease, natural disasters, pandemic and pandemic-like events.
A disease that has a direct or indirect impact on a person is considered an “epidemic.”
The term is often used by medical and health care practitioners, such in describing the effect of vaccines, to refer to a new disease or a new event.
For example, some health care providers have used the term to refer specifically to the effects of the flu shot, which the academy said has a long history of triggering outbreaks of the coronovirus.
The academy also used the word to describe how the medical community has treated the pandemic:The academy report concluded that the use and misuse of the terms “epistle to the public” and “epilogue” were “unusual and often misleading,” particularly with respect to the word’s broader meaning.
“While this practice is generally frowned upon by medical professionals, the Academy recommends that medical professionals avoid using the term ‘epistle’ or ‘epilog’ to describe an article published in a journal,” the report said.
In the past, health care experts have used a different, more nuanced definition of “journal,” and used the phrase “public interest” to describe news that they believed should be considered newsworthy.
While the term “epipen” has become a favorite in medical and medical journal writing, the Academy report cautioned that the term should be avoided when describing articles that are not of public interest.
In a statement, Feynunnman said, “The word ‘journal’ can be confusing to health care journalists who need to understand how to use the term in the most accurate way.
It’s important to be clear about the terms used, because it can be a challenge for those who use them to distinguish between newsworthy and not-newsworthy information.”
Read more:The Academy of Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes public health, ethics and education.
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