On the bedside table:

I recently picked up Mark Pendergrast’s Inside the Outbreaks about the history of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. The what? No kidding! It’s a CDC program founded in 1951 that takes young health professionals (mostly physicians) and sends them to investigate epidemics and outbreaks world-wide. It was named provocatively on purpose to stress the importance of public health as part of security, just like intelligence. . . and the book is chock-full of interesting tidbits about eradication efforts (think smallpox and polio), the ethics of using disadvantaged populations for studies, the government’s role in regulation, bioterrorism. . .  the list goes on! If you’re like me and enjoy geeking  out over medical mysteries, check it out!

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