Courses in the History of Medicine

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Spring 2018

HMED 3002W: Health Care in History II

Credits: 4
Lecture MWF: 10:10 - 11:00 am, plus discussion section
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Dr. Peter Kernahan
LE Requirements: Meets Historical Perspectives and Writing Intensive

Investigates the development and meanings of health care, medical science, and practice from 1800 to the present. Key themes include: the rise of biomedicine and medicine's cultural authority, professionalization, alternative medicine, public health, hospitals and technology, the political economy of health care, and the social determinants of health in historical context.

HMED 3040: Human Health, Disease, and the Environment

Credits: 3
TuTh lecture: 9:45-11:00 am
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Dr. Jole Shackelford
LE Requirements: Meets Historical Perspectives

Introduction to the historical relationship of human health and the environment, and the role of disease as an actor in human history. Examines ways in which pathogens and human-induced environmental changes altered our experiences with disease and our prospects for health. Offers hands-on historical research experience.

HMED 3055: Women, Health, and History

Credits: 3
TuTh lecture: 1:00-2:15 pm
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Dr. Dominique Tobbell
LE Requirements: Meets Historical Perspectives, and Diversity and Social Justice in the U.S.

Investigates women’s historical roles as healers, patients, research subjects, and health activists. Historical topics to be covered include views of gender and the body; reproduction and childbirth; women’s roles as nurses, physicians, public health reformers, and alternative practitioners; women’s experiences of mental illness, breast cancer, and other diseases; the role of culture and government in health; and disparities in diagnosis, treatment, research, and health careers.

HMED 4965W: Senior Research in Medical History

Credits: 3
Thursday seminar: 2:30 - 5:00 pm
Prerequisites: Senior
Instructor: Dr. Laura Luepke

Designed to help students plan and complete an original senior paper using historical and social science research methods. Includes discussing and practicing critical reading, developing research questions for a semester project, evaluating sources, and using both primary and secondary materials. Intended for students working on final projects for the Biology, Society and Environment major, UROP, honors theses, and disciplines where historical research methods are required.

HMED 8113: Research Methods in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Credits: 3
Thursday seminar: 3:35 - 5:30 pm
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: HSTM Faculty

This graduate-level seminar is an introduction to sources, methods, and problems of research in the history of science, technology, and medicine. The seminar involves the preparation of a major research paper under faculty supervision. This course meets with HSCI 8113.

HMED 7500: Historical Research for Medical Students

Course Availability
Length: 3, 4, or 6 weeks
Periods offered: By arrangement
Sites: Biomedical Library and Wangensteen Historical Library, Diehl Hall
Limit: 5
Prerequisites: none
Course director: HMED Faculty
Contact: Dr. Jennifer Gunn, (612) 624-1909, Dr. Dominique A Tobbell, (612) 626-5114, Dr. Jole Shackelford, (612) 624-4499
Report first day: By appointment at History of Medicine Office, 511A Diehl Hall

This course is designed to acquaint third and fourth year medical students with the sources and the methods of historical research in medical topics and to allow them to undertake a short research project on a topic which they help design. Possible topics include the development of the specialty they plan to enter, the history of a particular disease, or aspects of the health care system. The research project will result in a short paper.

Competencies and Objectives

  • To learn some of the basic issues and sources in the history of medicine.
  • To design a historical research project.
  • To gain familiarity with how historical sources may be found and to use a historical library or archive for research purposes.
  • To prepare a research paper in medical history using the standard scholarly apparatus to make and document an argument or interpretation.

Student Assessment

Students will be evaluated on the interest and importance of their topic, on the quality of their research, and on their success in making and supporting an argument or interpretation in their paper.

Special Instructions

At least two weeks before the period begins, contact one of the instructors to discuss your interest with him/her.