The institutions strive to overcome a poor image while looking ahead to a new role in a managed-care environment


Once the poor cousins of medical schools, public health schools are coming into their own as universities create new programs or expand existing ones. The advent of managed care, which emphasizes cost-effectiveness, has focused the attention of many institutions on prevention, the traditional raison d'^Ðtre of public health.

CONSTANTLY CHANGING: While missions stay the same, public health programs continually evolve, says Columbia's Allan Rosenfield.
Despite the increased interest, image problems persist. Some public health research is dismissed as "soft" and less rigorous than medical research. And funding for prevention research-with the exception of well-publicized efforts against AIDS and infectious diseases-remains difficult to come by.

Many academics and researchers assert that schools of public health are at a crucial stage in their 80-year existence. (The...

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