Recuerdos de un Maestro: el Profesor Dr. Ernesto Medina Lois (1925-2013)
Seldom, in the history of Chilean medicine, there has been such a unique parallelism between the professional development of a person and that of a discipline as it has been the case of Professor Ernesto L. Medina and Public Health. Dr. Medina’s undergraduate (University of Chile) and postgraduate (Harvard School of Public Health) studies coincided with the foundation of the University of Chile School of Public Health by an agreement among the University and two governmental health care providers, and also with the foundation of the Chilean National Health Service. His research covered the epidemiology of non- infectious diseases in the adult, such as cancer, their socio economic impact, the importance of early detection, treatment and surveillance, as well as the epidemiology of other chronic diseases, accidents and new epidemics. As Director of the School of Public Health for 25 years, he promoted the development of disciplines and courses addressed to health and other care-providers in order to improve their knowledge and expertise as statisticians, epidemiologists, administrators, budget officers. An example of his innovative look at medical education was the creation of post graduate training in the basic clinical specialties combined with public health, in order to have specialists able to undertake both the clinical and administrative duties at the primary care clinics. These programs ran in parallel with the rural internships financed by the Kellogg Foundation at the School of Medicine. Enumerating the distinctions and prizes awarded to Professor Medina would be too long for the purpose of this tribute, and selecting just a few would run the risk of being unfair. Still, there is one: the “Orden de la Cruz del Sur” that deserves the exception given to its long existence and the fact that it was awarded to a physician “for distinguished achievements in Public Health”.
Education, Medical; History of Medicine; Public Health.