Background and activities

Professor Steinar Westin, MD PhD

Steinar Westin (b 1944) is a professor of social medicine at the Department of Public Health and General Practice, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in Trondheim. Since 1999 also a part time general practitioner at a health centre in town, Mathesongården legesenter.


A former district physician practising in an island community on the west coast of Norway (Askøy), he has published on issues related to problem solving and decision making in general practice, screening in general practice, as well as implementation and evaluation of postgraduate education for general practitioners – in that respect being one of the founders of what has become "the Norwegian group based model" for vocational training in general practice, in effect since 1986. His most extensive research deals with health aspects of unemployment, sick leaves and disability pensioning, and increasingly on issues related to social inequalities in health and social determinants of health. The author/co-editor of several books, a textbook of social medicine, 2004, on social epidemiology 2009, and "What is medical knowledge" 2012.


Formerly a chairman of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association (1996-2004), member of editorial boards of several journals, e.g. the European Journal of General Practice, and formerly (1995-2002) a member of the Editorial Board of British Medical Journal. He served as a WHO advisor on primary health care in Macedonia 2003-4, and has taken part i primary care development projects in North Portugal (Vila Real), Turkey and Peoples Republic of China. From 2005 to 2014 chairman of the Norwegian government's expert group to advice on how to reduce social inequalities in health, and from 2007 to 2011 chairman of the Norwegian Research Council's program for research on sick leaves and early exclusion from working life. Elected member of The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and letters (1991). Recieved the Nidaros prize 2009 for contributions to bridging academic and clinical general practice.

Frequent writer and participant in public debates on issues related to health and health care, in periods "radio doctor" for NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, and since 1999 columnist in the regional newspaper Adresseavisen.



Overview in Cristin

Lancet Editor's comment [pdf]

Editorial The Lancet

Editorial BMJ

BMJ - NHS 50 years' anniversary

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications