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Published: 06 Nov, 2020

Health and Medical care’s handling of social issues

PROFILE Ensuring the highest possible level of sexual health, securing good health and well-being of young people, and eradication of men's violence against women are honourable social objectives. But what responsibility should health and medical care take to contribute towards these goals? Isabel Goicolea, professor of public health, aims to answer that question with her research.

The goal is to highlight three "social problems" for which it is unclear as to how health care should deal with; sexual health, young people's health and men's violence against women.

Isabel Goicolea's research focuses on analysing the best ways to strengthen health and medical care’s management of these problems. This knowledge can, among other things, contribute to processes that early on provide young people with mental illnesses with access to relevant health care.

Through her research she also examines how these social problems are the responsibility of health and medical care. The knowledge gained from this can contribute to a better understanding of what the consequences will be if, for example, men's violence against women is defined as a medical problem.


Isabel Goicolea was born in 1971 in Escoriaz, in the Spanish Basque region. After graduating from medical school in 1995, she worked for 13 years in the Amazon in Ecuador focusing on promoting sexual and reproductive health, and young people's rights.

In 2009, Isabel Goicolea defended her thesis in Epidemiology and Public Health at Umeå University, and from 2012-2014 she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alicante, Spain. In 2014 she became senior lecturer in global health at Umeå University.