Letters

Career development in public health

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7253.112/b (Published 08 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:112

Doctors should lead public health departments

  1. Sarah Taylor, chairman,
  2. Charles Saunders, chairman, negotiating team
  1. BMA Committee for Public Health Medicine and Community Health, British Medical Association, London WC1H 9JR
  2. Birmingham Health Authority, Birmingham B16 9RG

    EDITOR—McPherson's letter exemplifies the problem inherent in the demedicalisation of public health medicine.1 Of course the quality of the training available to non-medical public health workers needs to be improved. So do career and pay structures to recruit and retain those highly skilled individuals from a variety of specialties who make up the public health team, particularly public health infection control nurses, who are in extremely short supply.

    A broad range of skills is required to make public health teams function properly in the real world. Different members of the team bring different knowledge and skills, and these are not readily interchangeable.

    But …

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