History of Medicine, Second Edition: A Scandalously Short Introduction

History of Medicine, Second Edition: A Scandalously Short Introduction

Jacalyn Duffin’s History of Medicine has for ten years been one of the leading texts used to teach medical and nursing students the history of their profession. It has also been widely used in history courses and by general readers. An accessible overview of medical history, this new edition is greatly expanded, including more information on medicine in the United States, Great Britain, and in other European countries. The book continues to be organized conceptually around the major fields of medical endeavor such as anatomy, pharmacology, obstetrics, and psychiatry and has grown to include a new chapter on public health.

Years of pedagogic experience, medical developments, and reader feedback have led to new sections throughout the book on topics including bioethics, forensics, genetics, reproductive technology, clinical trials, and recent outbreaks of BSE, West Nile Virus, SARS, and anthrax. Up to date and filled with pithy examples and teaching tools such as a searchable online bibliography, History of Medicine continues to demonstrate the power of historical research to inform current health care practice and enhance cultural understanding.

‘A rollicking ride through the history of medicine … Each chapter represents the tried-and-true teaching methods of the author … [these], combined with the author’s lucid writing style and often humorous approach, made me envious of Duffin’s students.’ (Hughes Evans, Isis)

‘Duffin’s book is not only concise but also entertaining and enlightening … a valuable, good-natured overview of a large topic that challenges everyone who teaches the history of medicine to do a better job.’ (Barron H. Lerner, Journal of the History of Medicine)

‘This book is a superbly crafted volume readily accessible to the medical students for whom it was intended but equally rewarding to historians of all stripes for its wide-ranging and insightful discussions of the development of medicine from antiquity to Ebola and AIDS … a reminder of the splendor and fascination of healing and its lengthy and compelling history.’ (Susan E. Lederer, Canadian Bulletin of Medical History)

The book is despite its scope, rather related to the Anglo-American medicine. This can be exploited by teaching that engages students in the classroom and get them to look at the themes in the national, e.g. Norwegian context….As a textbook it is not scandalously short, but fit great, concise, and straightforward. Recommended! (Charlotte Haug, Journal of Norwegian Medical Association, vol 23: December 2010)

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