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May 1, 2016
9781421419992
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May 1, 2016
9781421420004
9781421419992
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5.50 Inches (US)
$24.95 USD, £18.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Adventures of a Female Medical Detective

In Pursuit of Smallpox and AIDS

In 1974, a young doctor arrived at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with one goal in mind: to help eradicate smallpox. The only woman physician in her class in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, a two-year epidemiology training program, Mary Guinan soon was selected to join India’s Smallpox Eradication Program, which searched out and isolated patients with the disease. By May of 1975, the World Health Organization declared Uttar Pradash smallpox-free.

During her barrier-crossing career, Dr. Guinan met arms-seeking Afghan insurgents in Pakistan and got caught in the cross fire between religious groups in Lebanon. She treated some of the first AIDS patients and served as an expert witness in defense of a pharmacist who was denied employment for having HIV—leading to a landmark decision that still protects HIV patients from workplace discrimination. Randy Shilts’s best-selling book on the epidemic, And the Band Played On, features her AIDS work.

In Adventures of a Female Medical Detective, Guinan weaves together twelve vivid stories of her life in medicine, describing her individual experiences in controlling outbreaks, researching new diseases, and caring for patients with untreatable infections. She offers readers a feisty, engaging, and uniquely female perspective from a time when very few women worked in the field. Occasionally heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, Guinan’s account of her pathbreaking career will inspire public health students and future medical detectives—and give all readers insight into that part of the government exclusively devoted to protecting their health.

About the Authors

Mary Guinan, PhD, MD, was the founding dean of the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is now professor emerita. She was the first woman to serve as the chief scientific advisor to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anne D. Mather was the managing editor of the CDC newsletter, the MMWR, during the years when smallpox was eradicated and AIDS was discovered.

Reviews

"In Adventures of a Female Medical Detective, Guinan weaves together twelve vivid stories of her life in medicine, describing her individual experiences in controlling outbreaks, researching new diseases, and caring for patients with untreatable infections. She offers readers a feisty, engaging, and uniquely female perspective from a time when very few women worked in the field. Occasionally heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, Guinan’s account of her path breaking career will inspire public health students and future medical medical detectives–and give all readers insight into that part of the government exclusively devoted to protecting their health."

- American Medical Women's Association Journal

"From the comfort of your sofa or chair, there’s nothing quite like a good adventure. But Hemingway, Roosevelt, Heyerdahl, Peary, you can put them aside after you’ve read Adventures of a Female Medical Detective. Author Mary Guinan, PhD, MD, is a true pioneer, and the stories she tells of her early career are jaw-dropping... In every job-related battle she fought, Guinan’s tenacity is impressive and empowering."

- Bookworm Sez

"... a rip-roaring read... As a 'medical detective', Guinan presents a series of case studies in explicit homage to super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes."

- Nature

"A punchy whodunnit is backed with plain talk of misogyny."

- Times Higher Education

"Light-hearted and easy to read...Guinan's stories embody the modesty and humor inherent in the culture of epidemiology as practiced by the Epidemiologic Intelligence Service (EIS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Endorsements

"In this valuable memoir, frontline public health heroine Mary Guinan shares poignant and often hilarious tales, many privy to her only as a woman with an open mind and heart. Informative, insightful, and compassionate, the stories from this inquisitive, gloriously successful disease cowgirl are a delight to read."

- Joel G. Breman, MD, DTPH, FIDSA, FASTMH

"Adventures of a Female Medical Detective is a must read.  Bold, informative, and heartfelt, it recounts important events from the career of Mary Guinan and the mission of the CDC.  Her adventurous works demonstrate curiosity and compassion, and her courageous dedication to scientific integrity and action reflects the best in public health."

- James W. Curran, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

"If you want to hear what a real-life public health hero is truly like, pick up the story of Dr. Mary Guinan, who has simultaneously overcome gender-based discrimination and literally improved the health of millions."

- David Holtgrave, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

"Imagine Sherlock Holmes tracking diseases instead of criminals. Dr. Mary Guinan's sharp and humorous account of the frontlines of many of the key public health mysteries of the last few decades is that and more as she confronts the scientific, moral, and political challenges of keeping the nation healthy."

- Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of Public Health, School of Public Health and Hunter College, City University of New York

"From the back of an elephant tracking smallpox to the bedside of a dying patient tracking AIDS, Mary Guinan shows the detective work required to understand and control infectious diseases around the world.  Sometimes funny, often scary, these stories inform, educate, and leave us appreciative of the people on the front lines protecting the public’s health."

- Don Francis

"... a frank and illuminating look at how scientists — female scientists in particular — actually work to combat disease."

- The Washington Post
Johns Hopkins University Press
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