PDQ Public Health

David L. Streiner, PhD CPsych

Professor, Department of Psychiatry
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Douglas W. MacPherson, MD MSc (CTM) FRCPC

Migration Health Consultants Inc. Cheltenham, Ontario, Canada
Faculty of Health Sciences Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Brian D. Gushulak, MD
Migration Health Consultantsm Inc.
Cheltenham, Ontario, Canada

Clearly – and often humorously – written, PDQ Public Health defines public health and covers the basic concepts of public health policy, including its history, from its local to its international structure, and its role in protecting human health.

Concise, yet comprehensive, PDQ Public Health educates the reader in the history and evolution of the concepts and practices of public health on local, national, and international scales. Key concepts, such as communicable diseases, vectors, hosts, and environments, are defined; and how they and other factors interact to influence public health issues is described. The statistical tools that are used to determine risk and describe the interactions contributing to community health are presented. The authors also address the impact of population mobility, economic factors, government (law), and ethics, on the practice of public health. This is all done in an engaging style that aids the reader’s comprehension of this complex subject.

The goal of this book is to provide the reader with an understanding of public health, complete with due attention to the necessary details and also the ironies in how public health tools have evolved. Be prepared to laugh your way through the matters of life and death that are addressed in the book; bear in mind the proven health benefits of laughter, which helps stave off the degenerative and lifestyle diseases that we are prone to acquiring these days.

Key Features

  • Covers the three phases of the epidemiological transition: The Age of Pestilence and Famine, the Age of Receding Pandemics, and the Age of Degenerative and Man-Made Disease.
  • Provides a comprehensive list of acronyms and abbreviations (and defines the difference) in common use in public health, along with some that are just in common use.
  • Engaging, even humorous style; enhances the concepts presented with germane, and usually humorous, quote.
  • Detailed Table of Contents and Index highlight important concepts

Preface By David L. Streiner, Douglas W. MacPherson, and Brian D. Gushulak
Chapter 1: What Is Public Health?

  • A Brief History of Public Health
  • Dogma and Disease – The Sociology of Public Health
  • Bad Smells, Bodies, and Boards of Health: Controlling Disease Becomes a Legislative Process
  • We Can See You Now – Germs Identified as the Enemy
  • Better Sanitation Through Cleaning the Gene Pool – Eugenics and Social
  • Engineering
  • Why Modern Schools of Public Health Owe Their Origin to an Alpine Railway
  • Tunnel – The Medical Science of Social and Economic Development
  • It’s Easier to Prevent It Than Treat It – Mid 20th Century Public Health Public Health and Emergencies
  • Taking Care of It Yourself – The Ascent of Health Promotion
  • Meetings and Definitions – Making Sure Everyone Is on the Same Page
Chapter 2: Classical Key Concepts
  • Some Basic Terminology
  • Person, Place, and Time — The Determinants of Health
  • Summary
Chapter 3: Surveillance
  • The Uses of Surveillance
  • Methods of Surveillance
  • Sources of Data
  • Spectrum of Outcomes
  • Attributes of Surveillance Systems
  • Summary
Chapter 4: Outcomes
  • Counting the Bodies
  • Measures of Mortality
  • Measures of Impact
  • DALYs, QALYs, and Other Outcomes That Don’t End in “LY”
  • Summary
Chapter 5: Risk
  • On the Varieties of Risk
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Perception
  • Communicating Risk
  • Risk Tolerance
  • Summary
Chapter 6: Mitigation and Prevention
  • Changing the Outcomes
  • Making a Difference — Modern Public Health Interventions
  • The Origin of Public Health

Chapter 7: Globalization of Public Health and the Influence of Population Mobility: A Selective History of Human Disease Outbreaks

Chapter 8: The Future
  • Changing Management of Threats, Risks, and the Perception of Risk in Public Health
  • Inter-connectivity and Globalization of Public Health
  • Integration of Health and Public Health Capacities – Coordination and Collaboration
  • Population Mobility and International Diversity and Disparity
  • Moving from Stakeholders to Stewardship: Integration of Health, Public Health with Other Non-Health Sectors
  • Summary


$41.95 Add To Cart
Book Details

278 pages


5 in. x 8.5 in.

Publication Date December 2010

Students of statistics and students and practitioners in the health professions and public health

ISBN 9781607950448
eISBN 9781607951476