In a recent issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Meshnick1 proposed a change in the name of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The arguments for such a change would indeed appear to be valid and strong. During the 1880s when the term hygiene was used for the first time, no one could have dreamt of all that would have transpired during the subsequent period. Innumerable changes would be best appreciated by the existing speed of intercontinental communications using internet and supersonic airplanes. There has been a transition from “pigeon technology” for communications to instant electronic signaling.
Dr. Meshnick1 proposes replacement of the word “Hygiene” by “Global Health” with no change in “Tropical Medicine.” Such a change would not address the constantly changing environment all over the globe. The global climate change accompanied by emergence of the so called tropical diseases in temperate or even cold climates would justify a change in the term “Tropical Medicine.” A simultaneous change in the two distinct components should ensure that the revised nomenclature would continue to be ever green even at the end of the 22nd century.
We suggest that the name should be changed to the American Society of Global Medicine and Health. Certainly, that would address both conventional and emerging disorders labeled during the past two centuries as tropical diseases. Last but not least, the concept of health would not be drastically altered in subsequent centuries.
Acknowledgment: The secretarial assistance of Geeta Rana and Seema George is acknowledged.