What does sociology have to say about health and illness, the health professions, or the organization of healthcare? Perhaps more than you would expect! Health is a relatively scarce and highly valued commodity, which, like wealth, education, or power, is socially--and very unequally--distributed in this country (as well as others). Health behavior, like all other behavior, is a product of social norms and cultural traditions. What people eat, where they exercise, how they perceive and react to pain, their willingness to adhere to doctor's orders--none of these occur independently of social forces. Thus, issues of health and illness are by no means exclusive to the traditional medical professions; social science is now recognized as a critical tool needed to understand individual and population health patterns.