The Public Interest

Between profession and vocation: the case of public health

Stephen White

Summer 1985

PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS within colleges or universities, whether graduate or undergraduate, customarily bear names that say pretty well what they are about. There can be little doubt about what goes on, in general, within a school of law, or medicine, or business administration, and not really much ambiguity about what goes on in a school of education, although a stickler might make a case. The wares of the school of public health or its alternative, the department of public health within a medical school, are not made manifest in its name; they have changed in fits and starts over the years in response to external events; they require discourse.

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