HIST-2420A History of Medicine

This course is an introduction to the history of medicine since ancient times to our days. Analyzing the historical experience of all the medical sciences in just one semester is rather an impossible task, thereby, we will focus on some of the most representative episodes and issues. We will study in particular two topics that will help us to understand the role of medicine in history. On one side, we will discuss the evolution of some of the most representative theories and ideas with regards to health and disease, and on the other side, prominent figures in the historical evolution of medicine. The work of relevant figures such as Hipocrates, William Harvey, Louis Pasteur, among many others will be a fundamental axis in this course. On the other hand, however, we will highlight the importance of the relation among medicine, science and society along history, especially in the western world. The human body is a construction that has changed remarkably in the last 2500 years, and it is necessary to understand the relation between medical knowledge and historical context.




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