History of Medicine: Book ReviewJacalyn Duffin, a Canadian physician-historian-educator, "blows the dust off the shelves of medical history" with this survey of the history of Western medicine. "History of Medicine: A Scandalously Short Introduction", written from a decidedly Canadian perspective, is a medical history textbook that is well researched, logically organized, and chock-full of interesting and intriguing content and illustrations.[Anne Ross Library Call No. R 31 .D783 1999]
One of the authors goals in writing this book was to spark the interest and imagination of the next generation of medical students and their educators. I found this textbook easy to digest in terms of assimilating the information presented of the people, places and events that shaped the history of Western medicine, but I discovered the real value of this treatise is in the wisdom that can be acquired by stepping away from the here and now and gaining that broader historical perspective. An understanding of where medicine has come from can only help young enthusiastic medical students to dispel their inherent generational tunnel vision, to find deeper meaning in today's medical practice, and to envision the future of medicine.
I highly recommend that all medical students set aside time to read this "cultural history...of medical events". As the book is organized along the lines of a traditional medical school curriculum complete with learning objectives, students could read the chapters for each course as they embark on each new semester.
[ Published by the University of Toronto Press, ISBN 0-8020-7912-1, 1999. reprint 2004.]
For a more complete review of this title, I refer you to the annotation by Audrey Shafer,
New York University School of Medicine.
Labels: Anne Ross Library, Epidemics, ethics, history of medicine, Hospitalization, Infectious Disease, Medical Advances, medical education, Medical Mistakes, medical research, War and Medicine, Women in Medicine