Epidemiology plays an all-important role in many areas of medicine, from discovering the relationship between tobacco smoking and lung cancer, to documenting the impact of diet, the environment, and exercise on general health, to tracking the origin and spread of new epidemics such as Swine Flu. It is truly a vital field, central to the health of society, but it is often poorly understood, largely due to misrepresentations in the media.
In this Very Short Introduction, an internationally recognized authority on epidemiology, Dr. Rodolfo Saracci, provides a wealth of information on this key field, dispelling some of the myths surrounding the study of epidemiology, and explaining what epidemiology is and how vital it is to the discovery, control, and prevention of disease in world populations. Dr. Saracci provides a general explanation of the principles behind clinical trials, and explains the nature of basic statistics concerning disease. He also looks at the ethical and political issues related to obtaining and using information concerning patients, and trials involving placebos.
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©2010 Rodolfo Saracci (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
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"A Short Introduction"
Rodolfo Saracci in Epidemiology: A Very Short Introduction sets out to present an abbreviated introduction to epidemiology and attains that ideal very well. Essentially, Saracci defines epidemiology and then takes up various related issues; measuring health and disease, searching for and establishing the causes of disease, determining how disease might be controlled, using archival data and interviews, and related issues. Each chapter describes the statistical approaches used to come to various conclusions. The general reader should not be put off by this because Saracci’s prose and approach make even the statistical explanations very helpful. This book is a very short introduction so it will not contain everything that you might want to know, but it is a great start for those interested in the topic. Individuals who enjoy Audible offerings, but are also visually oriented may well want to have a copy of this text in paper for reference. I found it very beneficial and informative even absent the PDFs that are made available to those who purchase the audio edition. The reading of Paul Hecht is very good.
Dr. Saracci provides an excellent overview of the history, development and application of epidemiological principles. He explains, without burdening the listener with complex mathematical formulas and techniques, the fundamentals of the science of epidemiology and its role in public health practice in our modern world. Dr. Saracci's work is an excellent primer for those considering the pursuit of epidemiology or a refresher for those engaged in its application. I highly recommend this title.
"Not the best material for an audio book"
This is a unique resource. It's an excellent overview of the science of epidemiology. You will gain a new appreciation of its challenges and benefits to society. The narration is very well done. The book was clearly not conceived to be effective in this medium. You'll hear lots of numbers you won't be able to grasp unless you devote your full attention. If you're driving, some of this will probably blow by you. Also, I wished this covered the history of epidemiology a little more. But overall, this is a serious and fascinating program.
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