Rare Book Profile: A.L. Cochrane’s Effectiveness and Efficiency.

Archibald Leman Cochrane’s  Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services  (London : Nuffield Provincial Hospitals Trust,, 1972) stressed the importance of evidence from randomized controlled trials as being more reliable than other sources of evidence. The principles laid out in this book became the foundation of the movement known as evidence-based medicine, which is now applied to most branches of health care and other disciplines as well.

Archie Cochrane (1909-1988) was born in Scotland. His father was killed in the Battle of Gaza in 1917. Cochrane received a medical degree from University College Hospital in London in 1936, and served in a British ambulance unit of the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War that same year. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1939, and served in the Crete campaign.  In June 1941, he was taken prisoner in Crete, and served as prisoner of war medical officer in various camps in Greece and Germany, where he developed an interest in tuberculosis. After the war, he studied the epidemiology of tuberculosis at the Henry Phipps Institute in Philadelphia, returning to Britain in 1948 to practice medicine, conduct research, and teach, specializing in tuberculosis and chest diseases.

The Health Sciences Library’s copy is the first edition, bound in the publisher’s green cloth binding. Books are included in the Rare Materials Collection because of age, rarity, monetary value, or physical characteristics which require special handling. While Effectiveness and Efficiency is not particularly rare or fragile, its intellectual importance and influence has made it collectible, and therefore vulnerable to theft.

Rare materials are available to individuals or groups by appointment on Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons, or at other times by arrangement. To schedule an appointment, contact Emily Epstein, emily.epstein@ucdenver.edu or 303-724-2119.

[Emily Epstein, Cataloging Librarian]