Jeremy Greene’s latest article in the Journal of Medical Humanities asks “Are the medical humanities for sale?”
In November of 1959, William Bean published in the Archives of Internal Medicine a scathing review of Félix Martí-Ibañez’s Centaur: Essays on the History of Medical Ideas. Martí-Ibañez and Bean were two of the leading exponents of the importance of medical humanism during a formative period from the 1950s through the 1970s. But the two physicians differed fundamentally in their views of the ideal relationships among the pharmaceutical industry, the medical profession, and the medical humanities. We situate Bean’s review within its historical context, shedding light on the history and diverging uses of the medical humanities.