Lester Breslow

American physician

1915   -   2012

country of citizenship: United States of America
educated at: University of Minnesota
occupation: physician

Lester Breslow (March 17, 1915 in Bismarck, ND, United States – April 9, 2012 in Los Angeles) was an American physician who promoted public health. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, which is also where he received his MD and MPH. Breslow served in the United States Army during World War II, and when he returned took a position with the California State Department of Public Health.While in medical school, he was studying to be a psychiatrist and, as a junior, he worked for a summer in the Fergus Falls Minnesota State Hospital for the Insane. His experience there left him discouraged once he realized that in that time, there was not much they could do for those patients except keep them out of harm's way. When he returned to medical school for his senior year, he told a friend of his, also a faculty member, about his feelings and was introduced to a new professor of public health, Gaylord Anderson. Anderson was the one that got Breslow set on a career in epidemiology. Breslow was considered an exemplary doctor as well as a genuinely good person. In an obituary written by one of his former protégées it says, "I was one of Lester's preventative medicine residents 15 years ago…Having had an opportunity to observe him engage with 'paupers' and 'kings,' I can attest to his treatment of all with respect and appreciation for their humanity, abilities, and contributions. I can also attest to his refusal to accept anything less than the best, from others (like me!) and particularly, from himself."
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