medical officer of health

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Syn: local (public) health officer, commissioner of health. A physician trained in public health sciences and practice who is responsible for supervising the protection of the people's health in a locality such as a city or a municipality. An MOH requires special skills in epidemiology, environmental, behavioral, and other health-related sciences; public health law; administrative competence; and political savvy. This last quality is a sine qua non: many public health problems have complex political dimensions that engage advocacy groups, political pressure groups, and ambitious politicians in search of election-winning causes.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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