Ten Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Became a Health Officer

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Public health, like politics, is the art of the possible. To maximize effectiveness, public health officers in any jurisdiction should (1) get good data and ensure timely and effective dissemination; (2) prioritize and tackle more difficult initiatives first; (3) find, fight, and win winnable battles in areas where progress is possible but not ensured without focused, strategic effort; (4) support and hire great people and protect them so they can do their jobs; (5) address communicable diseases and environmental health effectively; (6) do not cede the clinical realm-public health programs depend on clinical care and on effective coordination between health care and public health; (7) learn and manage the budget cycle; (8) manage the context; (9) never surprise their boss; and (10) follow core principles.

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