Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service
Author: Mark Pendergrast
We're adding this book to the Let's Talk Public Health reading list for all of the infectious disease and shoe-leather epidemiology enthusiasts out there.
The format of the book is refreshing. It's a series of vignettes, each summarizing the investigative adventures of some of the first Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officers. Pendergrast does an excellent job keeping things succinct. He provides just enough background and contextual detail to make each vignette stand alone. Not only do you get a sense of where and when the EIS has had an impact, but you also learn about the political and cultural barriers, the historical context, the growth and evolution of the EIS and CDC and its programs as well as great background knowledge on the routes of transmission, incubation periods, symptoms and much more of several disease agents. You get to see some recurring characters at different points in their careers, which provides a glimpse of possible careers paths. You also get to hear about some intriguing medical mysteries.
I've included some of the highlights and insights that I earmarked from the first part of the book (pg. 1-106), The Grand Adventures of Dr. Langmuir's Boys (1951-1970):
By: Monique Thornton, MPH