History of Medicine Education

The study of the history of medicine lectures and classes are a vital part of the Duke School of Medicine curriculum.  On “Anatomy Day,” for example, first-year students explore how representations of the body have changed over time, through a hands-on experience with rare texts and illustrations in the Rubenstein Library. The second-year clinical curriculum includes interactive history discussions linked to the OB-GYN, pediatric, and surgery rotations, examining topics such as the history of surgery, childbirth, vaccination, and infectious diseases. Third-year students have the option of pursuing a year-long historical research project as part of the Medical Humanities Study Program. An elective in the fourth year, History of Medicine for Clinicians, offers students a seminar experience that examines the implications of medicine’s evolution for the future.