As compared with other areas of medical research, the distinctive feature of public health research is that it is formulated on a community-wide basis or at least encompasses the study of readily definable population groups which can be subjected to observation and measurement. In cardiovascular disease, in arthritis and rheumatic disorders, in neoplastic diseases, in neurological and sensory disorders, in allergy, and in the problems of mental health, leading investigators and those who guide research programs are beginning to utilize epidemiologic techniques and to establish field studies. Careful critical inquiry directed toward the creation of new knowledge or the application of available knowledge to useful purposes offers the health officer, as well as his colleague in other branches of medical practice, a challenging opportunity.
Hardy AV, Dublin TD. RESEARCH IN STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS. JAMA. 1957;165(14):1808–1813. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980320038009
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