Barron H. Lerner

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Barron H. Lerner is a member of the faculty at the New York University Langone School of Medicine. He received his M.D. from Columbia in 1986 and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington in 1996. In addition to his research, Lerner practices internal medicine and teaches medical ethics and the history of medicine.

His book The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth-Century America, published in 2001, was cited as an American Library Association Notable Book the following year.[1] Lerner also received the 2006 William H. Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine for the book; one such Medal is awarded each year to the author or authors of a book of "outstanding scholarly merit in the field of medical history" published during the five calendar years preceding the award.[2][3]

His book One for the Road: Drunk Driving Since 1900, is the first history of drunk driving in America. It was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in October 2011.

Lerner's other books are Contagion and Confinement: Controlling Tuberculosis on the Skid Road (1998) and When Illness Goes Public: Celebrity Patients and How We Look at Medicine (2006).

Lerner writes regularly on topics in clinical medicine, bioethics and medical history for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, the Huffington Post and other publications.

Among Lerner's many contributions to The New York Times is an August, 2011 op-ed piece entitled, "The Annals of Extreme Surgery". It expressed concern over the increasing use of the HIPEC procedure, a controversial treatment for certain cancers.[4]

He is the author of several articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet:

  • Lerner BH. Sins of omission: cancer research without informed consent. N Engl J Med. 2004;351:628-630.
  • Lerner BH. Last-ditch medical therapy—revisiting lobotomy. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:119-121.
  • Lerner BH. Remembering Berton Roueche—master of medical mysteries. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:2428-2431.
  • Lerner BH. Subjects or objects? Prisoners and human experimentation. N Engl J Med. 2007;356:1806-1807.
  • Lerner BH. When diseases disappear—the case of familial dysautonomia. N Engl J Med. 2009;361:1622-1625.
  • Lerner BH. "I was the first": revisiting a paediatric heart transplantation. Lancet. 2008;371:1158-1159.
  • Lerner BH. Curing formerly fatal childhood cancers. Lancet. 2008;371:1655-1656.
  • Lerner BH. Drunk driving, distracted driving, moralism and public health. N Engl J Med. 2011; 365:879-881.
  • Lerner BH. Days of the giants: remembering Robert F. Loeb. Lancet. 2012;380:798-799.


  1. ^ Notable books of 2002, American Library Association.
  2. ^ William H. Welch Medal, List of recipients.
  3. ^ William H. Welch Medal, Description of award.
  4. ^ The Annals of Extreme Surgery, a guest editorial by B.H. Lerner, New York Times, 30 August 2011.

External links[edit]

Selected interviews with Barron Lerner
Selected contributions and essays