Date of Award

7-9-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Howard Forman

Abstract

This thesis addresses the question: Did the geopolitical event of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 cause a shift in the way the medical community views healthcare diplomacy? First, examples of past, present and proposed medical and healthcare diplomacy programs are analyzed with respect to the intention, government affiliation and diplomatic effect of each. Then, a group of 200 healthcare diplomacy articles from medical publications, half from five years prior to September 11, 2001 and half from a five years following, were analyzed for word occurrence, nationality of publication, nationality of authorship and governmental affiliation of authorship. A thorough analysis of the healthcare diplomacy articles reveals a dramatic increase in the use of words relating to terrorism, safety and religion. In addition there is a paradoxical decrease in healthcare policy articles authored by American physicians and epidemiologists. The observed trend shown in these scholarly reports provides evidence to support the theory that the terrorist attacks of September 11 caused a shift in the way the medical community views healthcare diplomacy.

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