This course explores the history and social meaning of medicine, medical practice, health care, and disease in the United States from 1600 to the present. Using a variety of sources aimed at diverse audiences students will investigate topics such as: the evolution of beliefs about the body; medical and social responses to infectious and chronic disease; the rise of medical science and medical organizations; the development of medical technologies; mental health diagnosis and treatment; changing conceptions of the body; the training, role, and image of medical practitioners and the role of public and government institutions in promoting health practices and disease treatments. We will pay particular attention to the human experience of medicine, with readings on the experience of being ill, the delivery of compassionate care, and the nature of the relationship between practitioners and patients. Course themes will include race, gender, cultural diversity, women and gender, social movements, science, technology, politics, industry, and ethics.
History of Health Care and Medicine in the U.S.
Monday, November 6, 2017 to Monday, February 5, 2018