Backstories in Epidemiology

Backstories in Epidemiology: True Medical Mysteries is a series of case studies edited by Lloyd Novick, Carole Novick, and John Marr. Written in the spirit of Berton Roueche’s classic Eleven Blue Men and Other Narratives of Medical Detection, Backstories in Epidemiology will appeal to students, practitioners, and health professionals at all levels. Stay tuned for a new, true medical mystery, published each month here on JPHMP Direct.

Backstories in Epidemiology

Dr. Lloyd F. Novick


Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Public Health at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. Previously, he was chair of this Department. He has served as the Commissioner of Health and Secretary for Human Services of Vermont, Director of Health Services for Arizona, and Director of the Office of Public Health for New York State. Previous academic positions include Professor and Director of the Preventive Medicine Program for SUNY Upstate Medical University, Professor and Chair of Epidemiology at the University of Albany School of Public Health, and Clinical Professor and Director of the Teaching Program in Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine. He is the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. He is also editor of five books, including Public Health Administration: Principles for Population-Based ManagementPublic Health Issues in DisasterPreparedness; Community-Based Prevention Programs that Work; Public Health Leaders Tell Their Stories; and Health Problems in the Prison Setting. [Full bio]

Backstories Epidemiology MysteriesRead All Stories in This Series:

Read more Backstories in Epidemiology: True Medical Mysteries, coming soon:

  • “Appendectomy Masquerade,” an epidemic initially attributed to appendicitis in upstate New York
  • “The Babies Are Dying,” newborn deaths in a West Virginia rural hospital nursery
  • “Clam Aches,” an outbreak at a church picnic from Maine clams
  • “Of Bites and Men: The Most Dangerous Urban Animal,” a story where the number of human bites exceeds shark bites