Professor Biomedical Program
Medical Degree, McGill University
Masters in Public Health, Harvard University
Robert Fortuine is a public health physician. He received his medical degree from McGill University in 1960 and his Masters of Public Health from Harvard University in 1968. Fortuine served with the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) from 1961 until his retirement in 1987. He first came to Alaska in 1963, and has held the following positions in Alaska: service unit director for the USPHS Alaska Native Hospital in Kanakanak (1963-1964); service unit director for the USPHS Alaska Native Hospital in Bethel (1964-1967); director of the USPHS Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage (1971-1977); and deputy chief of family medicine (1980-1987). Doctor Fortuine has also been active in national and Alaskan medical professional associations, as well as the American Society for Circumpolar Health and the International Symposium for Circumpolar Health. He was recently awarded the Jack Hildes Medal June 8 at the 11th International Congress of Circumpolar Health in Harstad, Norway, and has twice (1990 and 2006) won the Alaska Historian of the Year Award.
Dr. Fortuine has taught in the WWAMI program from 1989 until the present time.
He has published numerous articles on medicine and Alaskan and native medical history, and has authored books including: The Alaska Diary of Adelbert von Chamisso: Naturalist on the Kotzebue Voyage, 1815-1818 (translator and editor, 1986), Alaska Native Medical Center: A History 1953-1983 (1986), and Chills and Fever: Health and Disease in the Early History of Alaska (1989), The Words of Medicine: Sources, Meanings, and Delights (2001), 'Must We All Die?' Alaska's Eduring Struggle with Tuberculosis (2005), and A Century of Adventure in Northern Health: The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in Alaska (1879-1978) (2006).
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The Words of Medicine
| ||This book is history of medical vocabulary presented in topical (rather than dictionary form). It is written primarily for physicians, biomedical and medical students. The purpose is not only to foster the more precise use of the language of medicine by doctors and biomedical scientists, but also to enhance their enjoyment of the vocabulary they use professionally on a daily basis. Readers will find that the book contains a wealth of knowledge and provides for some very pleasurable reading. |
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Chills and Fever: Health and Disease in the Early History of Alaska
| ||Papers presented at the World Conference on Infancy as Prevention held in the summer of 1984, Athens, Greece. Thirty-seven contributions address prevention, intervention, parent-infant interaction, cognition and education, health and behavior, day care, the impaired child, adoption, and the family. Alk. paper. Dr. Fortuine, provides an insightful review of early Alaskan history from a unique perspective--the health of its people. In particular, he addresses the ways in which the European and American settlement of Alaska affected the health and daily lives of Alaska Natives. |
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'Must We All Die'? Alaska's Enduring Struggle with Tuberculosis
| ||This book traces the story of tuberculosis in Alaska from prehistoric times to the end of the twentieth century. Dr. Fortuine provides a comprehensive account of the disease itself, its impact on Alaskans, the different approaches to its treatment and control over the years, and the people who led the struggle. Special attention is given to the impact that tuberculosis has had on the Alaska Native people. |
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A Century of Adventure in Northern Health: The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in Alaska 1879-1978
| ||This book describes the work of the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service in promoting and protecting the health of Alaskans over the span of a century. It deals not only with the agency's work in Native health, but also with its partnership with the Revenue-Cutter Service, the Coast Guard, in epidemic control, in World War II, and in health research in Alaska. |