Courses in the History of Medicine

Fall 2019

HMED 3001W: Health, Disease, and Healing I

Credits: 4
Lecture M,W,F: 10:10-11:00 am, plus discussion section
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Adam Borrego
LE Requirements: Meets Historical Perspectives and Writing Intensive

A writing-intensive survey of the history of Western biomedical ideas, research, and health care practices from the ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foundations to the early nineteenth century, and helps explain the origins and appeal of today's alternative medicines as well.

HMED 3075: Technology and Medicine in Modern America

Credits: 3
Lecture M,W: 11:15 am-12:05 pm, plus discussion section
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Dr. Dominique Tobbell
LE Requirements: Meets Historical Perspectives and Technology & Society

How did technology come to medicine’s center-stage? This course examines the impact of technology on the production of medical knowledge, professionalization, the development of medical institutions/industry relations, health policy, and gender and race disparities in health care.

HMED 3940: (Topic) Theater and Medicine in Renaissance Europe

Credits: 3
Lecture Tu,Th: 1:00-2:15 pm
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Dr. Francesca Bortoletti

This course introduces the interplay of Medicine and Theater that animated an intellectual debate in Renaissance Europe on the human body and soul, nature and magic, and society and myths, which still continues to stimulate our imaginations today and inspire original works, inventions, and new discoveries. Intro level, no prior knowledge of European early modern history, theater, and medicine expected.

HMED 4965W: Senior Research in Medical History

Credits: 3
Tuesday seminar: 2:30 - 5:00 pm
Prerequisites: Senior
Instructor: Dr. Peter Kernahan
LE Requirements: Writing Intensive

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 8112: Research Methods in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Credits: 3
Thursday seminar: 3:35 - 5:30 pm
Prerequisites: Graduate level
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 8112.

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.

Contact Program in the History of Medicine

Diehl Hall (511A)
505 Essex Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Mail: Mayo Building (MMC 506)
420 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-624-4416 | Fax: 612-625-7938