History Of Medicine

(course for English speaking students, 2011/2012)


1. Primitive and Hippocratic Medicine
2. Arabic Medicine and Latin Medieval Medicine
3. Medical Renaissance in Europe and the Scientific Revolution
4. The Rise of Bio-medicine
5. Modern Public Health; Eugenics


Learning objectives
After completing this course students should gain knowledge enabling them to situate current medical issues in a wider historical perspective. Specifically, they should be able to: (1) discuss the problem of cultural and historical relativity of health and disease, (2) understand the origins of contemporary biomedical knowledge, (3) give an overview of the history of various medical specializations, (4) situate past and present medical practices in a social, political, economic, technological and ethical contexts.

Students' responsibilities
Attendance at the seminars is obligatory. 15 minutes delay is equal to the absence in the class. If for any reason a seminar is omitted, student is obliged to pass an oral exam regarding the missing class.
There are four seminars, each consisting of two 1.5 hour units. Each unit is devoted to two presentation that should last for about 20 minutes. These presentations are followed by 20 – 25 minutes discussions. Each student has to prepare one presentation. You can choose the subjects of your presentations according to your preferences. Please remember to do it early enough to be able to “make it”. If any particular aspect of a given subject especially interests you, feel free to make your presentation the way you like, just remember to at least mention all the other relevant aspects of your theme. For example, if speaking of transplantations you would like to focus on ethical issues, or speaking about madness you would like to focus on schizophrenia, please do so! It is also possible to choose a particular period or area. So for example you choose the history of oral hygiene as your subject – you may limit yourself to the traditional practices or you may speak of the post World War II developments in your own country. In such a case however, please consult the subject of you presentation with me in advance. We should be able to find a compromise.
I do not interfere into your choice of subjects, if there is any conflict please find a compromise between yourselves. Yet, an important thing: since there are 15 topics and some groups consist of 11 students please share the subjects in a way that we have at least 2 presentation per seminar! We will touch upon the other subjects anyway and you have to be prepared to all of them. Obligatory and other relevant literature regarding the seminars is given below, yet if you are preparing a presentation you are encouraged and expected not to limit yourselves to it.
Some useful advices regarding your presentations: (1) Read the obligatory texts for the seminar first (2) While checking the web please remember that there is much more to it than just Wikipedia! For each subject that we are going to discuss there are infinite resources on the web. You may also use pictures and video (3) Use library resources as well, you may download the articles directly via the university library main page, just go to “on-line databases” and search through millions of articles (4) Do not “copy and paste” into the power-point. A presentation prepared by yourselves would usually be much better, authentic and satisfactory (5) Don't get scarred by all those unknown subjects! They shall become familiar very soon if only you let them to.

Readings for the course
The list of obligatory readings is given below the description of each seminar. Everyone has to read all of required texts before each seminar! Most of the readings are available separately online, while all of them wait for you in a reader form in the Chair of the History of Medical Sciences, Congress-Didactic Center, Przybyszewskiego 37, room 1.06. I encourage all of you to make a paper copy for yourself, which will make the preparation for the course much easier. The list of selected supplementary readings is at the end of this sheet, but please take also advantage of any other resources that you find useful.

Final evaluation and getting the credit
The condition sine qua non of getting the credit is presence in the class. The next three necessary conditions are: (1) giving a presentation, (2) participating in the discussions, (3) passing the final test. For these three conditions we have the following system of points:
-you may get the maximum of 10 points for your presentation
-you may get either 0, 1 or 2 points for the discussion at each class, which makes it 8 points maximum
-the final test consists of 20 multiple choice questions and you get 1 point for each, which makes it 20 points maximum. However, in order to pass the test you must get at least 11 points.

Hence, you may get 38 points altogether. In order to get the credit you must have at least 23 points. The possible scores are the following:
23 – 27 points: pass
28 – 33 points: good
33 – 38 points: very good

If you get 10 for your presentation and 15 for the test than you are lucky, but better not to rely on providence. It is much more reasonable to be active and participate in the discussions, which would make you prepared better for the final and of course would give you additional points.
Another important thing is that the person giving a presentation should be prepared better than the others. The quality of the discussion following the presentation is in his/her best interest since it is mostly this person that gets an evaluation for the quality of the whole unit (and not just for the presentation). You should therefore prepare some questions in advance and ask them to the class, but you should also be ready to answer the questions from the public.
At the end each presentation must be submitted in a digital version, together with a precise bibliography, including the internet resources used, and a short statement saying that it is your own, original piece of work and not a copy. I would like to have one CD for each group with all the presentations recorded on it. When all these conditions are met you may simply bring your indexes to the Chair for the History of Medical Sciences, Congress-Didactic Center, Przybyszewskiego 37, room 1.06 (and not to my room!) and get the credit. Please bring all the indexes at once, at least for each group.

Please notice that the final tests take place on the last seminar. In 2011/2012 all the groups should take the tests during their January classes. For those who fail there will be two terms for retake (oral exam in this case) at the beginning of February.


I Cultures of Medicine
Topics of this seminar are altering concepts of health and disease and related concepts of medical rationality and irrationality, which are explored in their social, cultural, economic, scientific, technological, and ethical context, from antiquity to the present. Medical views, practices, practitioners and institutions are surveyed.

1. Medical views of man (Changing conceptions of what is man as being used by medical sciences: Hippocratic, Platonic and Aristotelian models, modern mechanical, biological, psychological and philosophical models. Best if you compare some of these).
2. Disease as social and historical phenomenon (Various historical conceptions of diseases as appearing in different cultural contexts. This subject is vast so it is best to limit your choice to several conceptions/examples of what constitutes health and disease. Think also of the distinction between disease, sickness and illness).
3. Conceptions of healthy life in different historical and cultural contexts (Western, Eastern and others, please try to compare).
4. Alternative medical practices: past and present (Acupuncture, homeopathy and other alternative practices, according to your choice; please give a historical overview and arguments on why are they alternative).

Obligatory readings:
R. Bivins, Introduction: Rival Systems of Medicine?, in: Alternative Medicine? A History, Oxford: Oxford UP 2007, 1 – 40.
A. L. Caplan, The concepts of health, illness, and disease, in: Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine, 1993, Vol. 1, 233 – 248.
H. R. Wulff, The Disease Concept and the Medical View of Man, in: The Discipline of Medicine, ed. A. Querido, L.A. Van Es, E. Mandema, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam 1994, 11 – 19.

II Making the Modern Body
This seminar aims to examine the ways in which the human body in the modern times (16th – 20th century) has become both a site for medical and surgical practices and a source of tissues and tools for research and industry. It also pays attention to the body as a field upon which various medical and social powers exert their influence, i.e. to the body as not only a natural, but also a cultural object.

1. Development of surgery (You may give an overview of this vast subject since the ancient times, but you should also focus on some late modern developments).
2. History of pain (Dental and general anesthesia, best is you give an overview since the ancient times. You may also think of the experience of pain as being not merely organic but also culturally mediated).
3. History of transplantations and legal definition of death (Autografts, allografts and xenografts in historical and legal perspective).
4. The disabled body (history of disabilities, orthopedics, orthopedic technology and rehabilitation; various historical conceptions of disabilities – religious, medical and social – as well as changing attitudes towards them).

Obligatory readings:
F. Gonzalez-Crussi, The Rise of Surgery, in: A Short History of Medicine, New York: The Modern Library 2008, 23 – 48.
M. Lock, Twice Dead, Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death, chapter II Technology in Extremis, University of California Press 2002, 57 – 77.
P. Cole, The Body Politic: Theorizing Disability and Impairment, in: Journal of Applied Philosophy 24:2 (2007), 169 – 176.

III Progress of Medicine?
This seminar focuses on the problem of progress in medicine and of progress as such. The idea itself is quite easy to accept when we discuss the development of modern medical technologies or successful struggle against many epidemics. Yet, to counterbalance prevailing optimism, we would also think of politics behind medicine and of the problem of medicalization. Medicine would appear as one of the many interdependent cultural human practices struggling for power.

1. History of infectious diseases and attitudes towards them (plague, smallpox, syphilis, influenza, cholera, tuberculosis, AIDS and others).
2. Progress of medical technologies (Diagnostic technologies, such as stethoscope, microscope, X-rays, CT, MRI, plus life-sustaining and surgical technologies, such as pacemakers and laparoscopy).
3. Medicalization of human conditions (Anorexia, obesity, ADHD, PMS, andropause, menopause and others – please provide a historical overview of this process).
4. Politics of health (This subject is vast so a choice has to be made to speak of one of the following: changing health policies and public health strategies in different countries, systems of financing health, growth of the population and new challenges for medicine, changes in global health policies, eugenic policies and practices in the 20th century and many more).

Obligatory readings:
F. Gonzalez-Crussi, Pestilence and Mankind, in: A Short History of Medicine, New York: The Modern Library 2008, 101 – 131.
S. J. Reiser, The Shortcomings of technology in medical decision making, in: S. J. Reiser, Medicine and the Reign of Technology, Cambridge: Cambridge UP 1978, 158 – 173.
P. Conrad, Medicalization, Context, Characteristics and Changes, in: The Medicalization of Society, Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press 2007, 3 – 19.
S. Lock, Medicine in the second half of the 20th century, in: I. Loundon, ed. Western Medicine, An Illustrated History, Oxford: Oxford UP 1997, 123 – 144.

IV Madness and Society
This seminar aims to historically explore a range of conception of a mental health and illness as developed in pre-modern and modern times, including changing methods of treatment. We would pay attention to various forms of madness as appearing in different epochs and cultures and to mental health as not only a medical, but also a social problem.

1. History of madness (In this presentation you should talk about the historical development of the idea of madness. You may focus on a particular historical period or simply pick up two or three mental disorders, like melancholia (depression) or hysteria, and give their overview.)
2. History of psychiatry and insane asylums (Please speak of various types of medical treatment of mental disorders, from primitive and religious through physical to psychopharmacological and of development of modern medical psychiatry and its confinement institutions).
3. Psychotherapeutic treatment in historical perspective (Different schools of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis providing alternative – to psychopharmacology – methods of diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders).
4. History of addictions (Alcohol, tobacco, different drugs, changing policies towards them and methods of treatment).

Obligatory readings:
M. Raz, Psychosurgery, Industry and Personal Responsibility, 1940 – 1965, w: Social History of Medicine 23:1 (2010), s. 116 – 133.
P. Chesler, Asylums, in: Women and Madness, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1972, 32 – 57.
B. Symonds, The origins of insane asylums in England during the 19th century: a brief sociological review, in: Journal of Advanced Nursing, 22 (1995), 94 – 100.

Selected supplementary readings (available online or in the library).
E. H. Ackernecht, A Short History of Medicine, Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press 1982.
R.E. Adler, Medical Firsts, From Hippocrates to the Human Genome, New Jersey: John Willey & Sons, Inc. 2004.
R. Bivins, Alternative Medicine? A History, Oxford: Oxford UP 2007, 1 – 40.
G. Canguilhem, The Normal and the Pathological, New York, Zone Books, 1991.
F. Gonzalez-Crussi, A Short History of Medicine, The Modern Library, New York 2008.
J. Le Fanu, The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine, Abacus, London 1999.
M. Foucault, History of Sexuality, trans. R. Hurley, New York 1978.
I. Loundon, Western Medicine, An Illustrated History, Oxford: Oxford UP 1997.
V. Nutton, Ancient Medicine, London and New York: Routledge 2004.
D. Porter, Health, Civilization and the State, A history of public health from ancient to modern times, London – New York 1999.
R. Porter, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind, A Medical History of Humanity from Antiquity to the Present, London: Fontana Press 1999.
J. Wynbrandt, The Excruciating History of Dentistry, New York 1998.

S. Ainsworth, Key developments in the history of hygiene, in: Dental Nursing 4:11 (2008), 638 – 646.
A. Bateman, J. Holmes, Introduction: history and controversy, in: Introduction to Psychoanalysis, London and New York: Routledge 1995, 3 – 26.
A.A. Baumeister, M.F. Hawkins, Continuity and Discontinuity in the Historical Development of Modern Psychopharmacology, in: Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 14 (2005), 199 – 209.
B. Caramelli, C.L.Z. Vieira, The history of dentistry and medicine relationship: could the mouth finally return to the body?, in: Oral Diseases 15 (2009), 538 – 546.
A. Carden-Coyne, Ungrateful Bodies: Rehabilitation, Resistance and Disabled American Veterans of the First World War, in: European Review of History, 14:4 (2007), 543 – 565.
H.L. Crimlisk, M.A. Ron, Conversion hysteria: history, diagnostic issues, and clinical practice, in: Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 4 (3) 1999, 165 – 180.
J. Derrida, ‘To Do Justice to Freud’: The History of Madness in the Age of Psychoanalysis, in: Critical Inquiry 20 (1994), 227 – 266.
D.J. Dibardino, The History and Development of Cardiac Transplantation, in: Texas Heart Institute Journal, 26:3 (1999), 198 – 205.
R.D. Emslie, A History of oral hygiene measures, in: Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 8 (1980), 225 – 229.
J. Fisher, M. Trump, The long journey to cardiac transplantation, in: Journal of Investigative Surgery 14 (2001), 67 – 70.
L. K. T. Fu, The origins of surgery 1. From Prehistory to Renaissance, in: Annals of the College of Surgeons Hong Kong 4 (1999), 127 – 136.
L. K. T. Fu, The origins of surgery 2. From barbers to surgeons, in: Annals of the College of Surgeons Hong Kong 4 (2000), 35 – 49.
J. Hardt, Psychoanalytic and therapeutic training in Germany: ‘After’ Freud, in: European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counseling, December 2006, 8 (4), 375 – 385.
R.W. Heinrichs, Historical Origins of Schizophrenia: Two Early Madmen and Their Illness, in: Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 39:4 (2003), 349 – 363.
R. Hirst, From Out of the Primordial Soup: A Brief History of Anesthesia, in: The Internet Journal of Anesthesiology, 10:1 (2005).
A. Jafarey, G. Thomas, A. Ahmad, S. Srinivasan, Asia's organ farms, in: Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 4:2 (2007), 52 – 53.
T.J. Kaptchuk, Accupuncture: theory, efficacy, and practice, in: Annals of Internal Medicine 136 (2002), 374 – 383.
N.Lazar, S. Shemie, G. Webster, B. Dickens, Brain Death, in: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 164:6 (2001), 833 – 837.
M. London, History of Addiction: A UK Perspective, in: The American Journal of Addictions, 14 (2005), 97 – 105.
J. Merry, A Social History of Heroin Addiction, in: British Journal of Addictions 70 (1975), 307 – 310.
T. Mueller, T. Beddies, The Destruction of Life Unworthy of Living in National Socialist Germany, in: International Journal of Mental Health, 35:3 (2006), 94 – 104.
J. Mullen, History of Water Fluoridation, in: British Dental Journal 199 (2005), 1 – 4.
T. Nagel, What Is It Like to Be a Bat? in: The Philosophical Review, 83:4 (1974), 435 – 450.
F.V. Panno, I.D. Zinner, History of intracorronal attachment systems, in: Quintessence of Dental Technology 18 (1995), 143 – 158.
E. Rieger, S.W. Touyz, T. Swain, P.J.V. Beumont, Cross-cultural Research on Anorexia Nervosa: Assumptions Regarding the Role of Body Weight, in: International Journal of Eating Disorders, 29:2 (2001), 205 – 215.
H.D. Sgan-Cohen, Oral hygiene: past history and future recommendations, in: International Journal of Dental Hygiene 3 (2005), 54 – 58.
G.B. Tangwa, The HIV/AIDS Pandemic, African Traditional Values and the Search for a Vaccine in Africa, in: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 27:2 (2002), 217 – 230.
L.H. Toledo-Pereyra, Founders of modern surgery, in: Journal of investigative surgery, 14 (2001), 301 – 302.