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Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease

PhD Project

Victoria Brown

Public Health Challenges for General Practitioners in the Tees Valley during the 20th Century


This project looks at the relationship between the health issues that have arisen historically in the Tees Valley over the course of the 20th Century, and the General Practitioners who dealt with these varying and multifarious concerns. These include, although not exclusively, themes as diverse as occupational and environmental health; unemployment, poverty and its effects; nutrition and sexuality. The main sources used to research the topic consist of archives throughout the region, local newspapers, company records, and oral history interviews with GPs who practised throughout the chosen timeframe.

The Tees Valley area in recent times has come under scrutiny from the media, in particular when dealing with issues such as obesity, substance abuse and the long-term health effects of industry. The rationale behind the project is the potential to not only add to the existing body of research on the history of modern public health, but also provide us with insight into the administration of health care in the region over the previous hundred years. Additionally, in evaluating how GPs coped with problems in the past, information beneficial to those planning future health policies and strategies in Teesside may arise.