The vision of the Biomedical Science program at McMurry is to teach biology from the perspective of molecules, cells, and human health. It is often easy to see the emphasis on molecules and cells. We have courses like Genetics, Microbiology, Human Physiology. However, we are never far from a discussion of how these elements of biomedical science influence human health and wellness. To say one does not go without the other would be a fair statement.
I believe our focus on human health really contributes well to understanding the concept of public health. Public health can be seen in a variety of ways. Most obvious would be the emphasis on healing the sick or preventing illness. Our courses focus on these elements as we study how life works, what happens when it doesn’t work well, and how man has contributed to rectifying the problems to restore health. Less obvious, but no less important, is the need for us to consider exercise and wellness and health policy and administration and education when we consider health and wellness of individuals AND communities. When expanded in these ways, such things as promoting active lifestyles, dietary awareness, food safety, veterinary health care, and mental health all contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of what constitutes public health. Limiting ourselves to consideration of DNA and drugs and cells and microbes severely restricts and underestimates the concept of health in all its dimensions.
McMurry’s BIMS program represents one of the keystones for a comprehensive approach to teaching public health and safety on our campus. The Department of Kinesiology’s Exercise Science & Human Performance program is an excellent partner, along with the Department of Psychology’s focus on mental health. Who knows – maybe one day we will borrow from these and other areas of campus to build a bona fide Bachelor’s degree in Public Health!