Dr. Lester Breslow dies at 97; UCLA dean was ‘Mr. Public Health’
Breslow played a key role in medicine’s transition from an emphasis on simply treating disease to a much broader effort to prevent it. Medicine focused “almost exclusively on communicable diseases when I started” in the 1940s, he recently recalled. “I felt public health needed a broader vision.”
Most physicians today would recognize that it is just as important to prevent disease, particularly diabetes, heart conditions and other chronic illnesses, as it is to treat them. But when Breslow began his work, his concerns were met with skepticism and outright disdain.