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Introduction to Public Health, Second Edition

de Mary-Jane Schneider

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This thorough revision contains new chapters on bioterrorism and emergency preparedness. Further bioterrorism issues have been woven through relevant chapters. New additions in epidemiology include anthrax and SARS. Additions in women's health consider new developments in hormone replacement therapy. A new emphasis has been placed on planning to include natural disasters as well as terrorism. Introduction to Public Health, Second Edition covers the basic elements of public health as well as essential data and statistics.… (mais)
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Ironically, public health has been one of the most successful academic fields since 1900, yet still struggles to implement its agenda on the public (at least, in America). It is responsible for most of the doubling of life expectancy in America and for vast improvements in the quality of life. Schneider excellently chronicles those contributions with an eye towards the present and the future.

She covers her topics in an accessible, easy-to-read manner that does not skimp on academic rigor. Topics are as varied as the future of public health, the history of infectious diseases, social and behavioral factors in health, and analytical tools of public health. She includes many twenty-first-century and American issues like bioterrorism, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and political roadblocks to the advancement of health.

Schneider’s passion is not merely academic. She teaches her subject with an aim to instill her passion for health into her readers. She directly attempts to advocate for what she views as the best option for the health of the public. She opens this book with a section on public health in the news and is never timid about controversial material after that. Some readers might disagree with her opinions about such timely topics, but at the very least, they are forced to reason through their objections. Her motive seems relatively pure and not merely political, so I hope readers can give her the benefit of the doubt in granting her views a hearing.

This book is suitable for a college class or even an in-depth graduate school class. Its strength can be seen in that it is now in a sixth edition with a history spanning decades. Each chapter has dozens of endnotes for further investigation. The relatively simple style of language combined with erudition can reach a broad range of audiences in higher education. It has an obvious bias towards American subjects yet still touches on issues in global health.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and wish that I had found it years earlier. It did the trick for me – which is to say that it taught me about health from the public’s perspective, not from the limited, sometimes myopic perspective of medical professions. I feel inspired to make healthier choices that are informed by this broad overview that is the field of public health. Schneider has attempted something big in this work, and she pulled it off. Hopefully, students will have ears and eyes to learn. ( )
  scottjpearson | Mar 3, 2021 |
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This thorough revision contains new chapters on bioterrorism and emergency preparedness. Further bioterrorism issues have been woven through relevant chapters. New additions in epidemiology include anthrax and SARS. Additions in women's health consider new developments in hormone replacement therapy. A new emphasis has been placed on planning to include natural disasters as well as terrorism. Introduction to Public Health, Second Edition covers the basic elements of public health as well as essential data and statistics.

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