School of Medicine

Scholarly Concentrations

All medical students choose a scholarly concentration in the fall of their first year and work closely with a faculty mentor to develop an original research project, completed by the spring of the second year. History of medicine concentrators have explored topics ranging widely over time, space, and thematic focus, both in Baltimore and across the world. For example, our students have researched in England, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Japan. They have presented their findings in conferences and publications.

Independent Study

In the third and fourth years of medical school, many Hopkins students carve out a month or two for independent study. Some develop their Scholarly Concentration projects towards publication. Others explore new research projects or targeted fields of readings. Students interested in pursuing an Independent Study should contact appropriate faculty members.


Institute faculty teach workshops and lectures as part of the Genes to Society curriculum.  For example, faculty members have offered selective courses within the Foundations of Public Health and Ethics (FPHE) block of the SOM year I curriculum. Such courses place history of medicine in conversation with medical anthropology, medical sociology, social epidemiology, and community advocacy groups to articulate the role of interdisciplinary social science perspectives in medical education and medical practice.

MD/MA and MD/PhD in the History of Medicine

Students interested in pursuing further scholarship in the field are encouraged to consider a five year combined MD/MA track in the history of medicine.  The MA Program in the History of Medicine entails a year of coursework, a reading knowledge of one foreign language and a masters’ thesis. In addition, the Department has trained a number of MD/PhDs; students interested in this pathway should contact the Graduate Coordinator.

Awards and Essay Competitions

The William Osler Medal is awarded annually for the best unpublished essay on a medical historical topic written by a student enrolled in a school of medicine or osteopathy in the United States or Canada. The writer of the winning essay will be invited to attend the annual conference of the American Association of the History of Medicine. The deadline for submissions is in January.

The William B. Bean Student Research Award. The Osler Society offers a modest research grant to a medical student to undertake research in the history of medicine. The 2010 Bean award was won by a Hopkins student who researched the medicalization of the Baltimore Almshouse.

Travel Grant
W. Bruce Fye/Institute of the History of Medicine Travel Grant for Medical Students

Through a generous gift from W. Bruce Fye, MD, MA, a graduate of the Institute and past-President of both the American Association for the History of Medicine and the American College of Cardiology, the Institute of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins offers a $2000 travel grant to support research in the Institute’s Historical Collection.

The grant will be awarded each year to a student registered at a medical school. Students wishing to apply for this grant should send a letter stating their research interests and how work at the Institute will advance them. They should also send a CV and a letter of recommendation from their advisor to:  Dr. Jeremy Greene, Director, Institute of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205.