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Epidemiology is the scientific study of factors affecting the health and illness of individuals and populations, and serves as the foundation for interventions made in the interest of public health and preventive medicine. It is considered a cornerstone methodology of public health research, and is highly regarded in evidence-based medicine for identifying risk factors for disease and determining optimal treatment approaches to clinical practice. 

Many research-oriented GIM Divisions focus narrowly on one or two aspects of epidemiology, like clinical decision-making, meta-analysis, or pharmacoepidemiology. Because of its close, historic relationship with the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Hopkins GIM offers unparalleled scope and depth, encompassing topics of traditional interest to generalists, but extending to clinical trials and emerging areas, like social, molecular, and genetic epidemiology. The unifying features of epidemiologic research conducted by Hopkins GIM faculty are: 1) commitment to a multi-disciplinary approach; and 2) rapid translation from epidemiologic discovery into clinical and public health practice. 

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