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Book and Media Reviews
October 24/31, 2007

From Snake Oil to Medicine: Pioneering Public Health

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(16):1943-1949. doi:10.1001/jama.298.16.1948

R. Alton Lee has written a detailed account of the professional life of a pioneer in public health, Dr Samuel J. Grumbine. Lee not only tells the story of a life's work but shows that the events Grumbine initiated and witnessed were the roots of public health and continue to give the field direction and meaning. As those of us in the field today consider how to advance the causes of a new public health (see, for example, LU Aday's Reinventing Public Health: Policies and Practices for a Health Nation, Jossey-Bass, 2005), we would do well to learn from Grumbine's insights.

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