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October 22, 1938


JAMA. 1938;111(17):1517-1521. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790430001001

Our ideas concerning the prevention and control of disease have undergone remarkable transformation during the past century and especially during the past fifty years. Many of the great conquests in medicine have been achieved in the field of preventive medicine and public health. One who reads the biographies of Walter Reed, Pasteur, Trudeau or "An American Doctor's Odyssey" by Heiser is impressed with the romance and spirit of adventure which one may experience in the prevention and control of disease and in the field of medical research. The progress that has been made in this phase of medical service constitutes a record of those principles the scientific application of which should ultimately result in "man's redemption of man."

CHANGING ATTITUDES TOWARD PUBLIC HEALTH  Before the era of the science of bacteriology and immunology the practice of preventive medicine was focused on the environment. The methods employed were based largely on