A recent editorial1 made a strong plea for applying the epidemiologic method to chronic and noninfectious diseases. Few would dissent. It will, however, be extremely difficult to put the recommendation into effect, since epidemiology now is suffering from a shortage of personnel at all levels, from field workers to bureau chiefs and from students to professors. Shortages are found at all levels of government operation—federal, state, and local—as well as in departments of universities and institutes engaged in pure research. There is, moreover, an acute shortage of teachers of epidemiology.
Two things are required to meet this situation: more interested medical leaders and more adequate training facilities. Of major concern is the matter of attracting additional competent physicians into the specialty of epidemiology, since present facilities, although limited, can train more students than apply.
Epidemiology has a great tradition and a great promise. We can go back 200 years
Parran T. NATIONWIDE NEED-EPIDEMIOLOGISTSGUEST EDITORIAL. JAMA. 1957;163(9):742–743. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970440038012
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