Open Journal Systems

Why the History of Medicine?

Garabed Eknoyan

Abstract


The merits of medical history have been appreciated ever since medicine emerged as a profession in antiquity. Research into the history of medicine began to be nurtured during the 18th century and courses on medical history began to be incorporated into the medical curriculum by the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Unfortunately, the benefits of medical history and its inclusion in medical education have come under increasing scrutiny over the past few decades. Ironically, the erosion began at about the same time that scholarly work in the history of medicine was beginning whilst that of scientific discovery and innovation in medicine was accelerating.  Essentially, the demands of rigorous research into the history of medicine in the 20th century gradually led to the emergence of medical history as an independent discipline within academic departments of history.  Simultaneously, the exponential growth of new information generated by medical research led to an overcrowded medical curriculum in which teaching medical history is contested and dismissed. Paradoxically, it is the very wealth of new information being generated in medicine and its history that has led to an increasing chasm between them. This manuscript examines the reasons that brought about the separation of medicine from its history and proposes potential solutions to their rapprochement.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Henry A. Lectures on the history of medicine. BMJ 1860; i(169): 219-223.

Galdston I. The amateur in medical history. Yale J Biol Med 1941; 18:129-134.

Huisman F, Warner JH (editors). Locating Medical History. The Stories and their Meaning. Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

King CR. The historiography of medical history: From great men to archeology. Bull NY Acad Med 1991; 67:407-428

McMenemey WH. On medical history and literature. Proc R Soc Med 1963; 56:839-849.

Galdston I. On the futility of medical history. Canad Med Ass J 1965; 93:807-811.

Fye WB. Medical history: A valuable tool to help frame the present and predict the future. J Am Coll Cardiol 2003; 41:346-349.

Jones DS, Greene JA, Duffin J, Warner JH. Making the case for history in medical education. J Hist Med Allied Sci 2014; :1-30

Duglison R. History of Medicine. From the Earliest Ages to the Commencement of the Nineteenth Century. Philadelphia, Lindsey and Blakiston, 1872.

Garrison FH. Medicine as an agency in the advancement of science, art and civilization. Bull NY Acad Med 1929; 5:305-327.

Sigerist HE. University education. Bull Hist Med 1940; 8:3-21.

Temkin O. An essay on the usefulness of medical history for medicine. Bull Hist Med 1946; 19:9-47.

Stein C. Diving and knowing. Karl Sudhoff’s historical method. Bull Hist Med 2013; 87:198-224.

Risse GB. Teaching medical history in the 1970s: New challenges and approaches. Clio Medica 1975; 10:133-142.

Burnham JC. The past of the future of medicine. Bull Hist Med 1993; 67:1-27.

Priorechi P. Physicians, historians and the history of medicine. Med Hypotheses 1992; 38:97-101.

Cordell EF. The importance of the study of the history of medicine. 1904; 268-282.

Rosen G. The place of history in medical education. Bull Hist Med 1948, 22:594-629.

Pellegrino E. Educating the humanist physician. An ancient ideal reconsidered. JAMA 1974; 227:1288-1296.

Thornton JL. The importance of the study of the history of medicine. Health Libraries Rev 1987; 4:139-140.

Shedlock J, Sims RH, Kubilus RK. Promoting and teaching the history of medicine in a

medical curriculum. J Med Lib Assoc 2012; 100:138-141.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18550/ijhpm.011515.0514

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Article Metrics Graph

Metrics powered by OpenJournalSystems.com

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.
x
Message