The Scholarly Concentration in the History of Medicine provides students with an introduction to historical thinking and methodologies. It affords an opportunity to develop skills in evaluating evidence from the past—even the very recent past—to reflect on how we know what we know in the present day.
Our concentration offers a high faculty-to-student ratio; students work closely with one or more of a set of faculty members whose expertise covers the history of medicine in a diverse array of places and time periods. Have a look at the variety of students’ projects:
- Brent Pottenger, M.H.A., M.S.II
How did Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) evolve into an orthopaedic medical issue? Historical perspective on IPV on othopaedic surgery
- Carmel L. Mercado, M.S.II
Setting the Stage for Kampo in Modern Japanese Society, 1976-present: Different Actors, Varied Motivations, One Goal
- Christopher R. Cashman, M.S.II
Golden Ages and Silver Screens: The Construction of the Physician Hero in 1930-1940 American Cinema
- Elisabet Pujadas, M.S.II
Deconstructing Santiago Ramon y Cajal
- Emily Kristine Miller, M.S.II; Dawn LaPorte, MD
The History of Women in Orthopaedic Surgery and their Impact on the Field
- Lena Delle Caron, M.S.II
Educating and Entertaining Since 1948: An Historical Look at the Comic Strip Rex Morgan, M.D.
- Michael G. Daniel, M.S.II
A History of Hospital Infection Control: The Study on the Efficacy of Nosocomial Infection Control
- Radu Dudas, M.S.II
Illustrations in 13th and 14th Centuries Surgical Manuscripts
- Roger W. Samuels, M.S.II
Dengue Epidemics in Late 20th Century Puerto Rico: A Comparison of Disease Prevalence, Institutional Response, and Media Coverage
- Rwo-Wen (Chloe) Huang, M.S.II
The Influence of Venereal Disease on Practitioner-Patient Relationship in Early Modern London
- Timour Al-Khindi, M.S.II
"Too frankly human and not strict science": A Tale of Psychiatry and Eugenics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital
Why study the history of medicine as a medical student at Johns Hopkins?
History can make medical students better physicians and better researchers. It offers a set of tools for investigating the ways in which culture, politics, economics, and social institutions shape medical beliefs and practices. We explore specific methods for studying the changing burden of disease, shifting meanings of diagnosis, evolving rationales for treatment, the contexts of scientific discovery, and the global delivery of health interventions.
Yet the history of medicine offers a unique space to reflect on the continuity of our twenty-first century experiences with those of people from centuries or millennia past. Amidst all of these changes one finds persistence: there have always been patients, there have always been healers, there has always been illness and suffering, and there have always been therapeutic forms to relieve them.
An understanding of our past can illuminate our present and more effectively train medical practitioners and researchers of the future.