STS 366

History of Medicine

This course surveys the history of medicine from ancient times to the present, guided by the following questions. How have people in different times and contexts made sense of health, disease, and healing? How have changing conceptions of nature and the scientific study of the human body influenced medicine? What have been the social, political, and institutional contexts in which medicine has been done and developed? How has the role of the doctor and patient relationship changed, and how have conceptions of a 'good doctor' and 'good medicine' changed? How have the problems of access to and distribution of medical care been approached? Examining each of these questions in historical context will, in turn, provide a foundation for contemplating modern issues in medical research and practice, as well as medicine's place in modern society.