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Seeing the Present Through the Past

Seeing the Present Through the Past

As an MD-PhD candidate, now in the second year of a history of medicine PhD, I often reflect on the role of history in the medical school classroom and at the bedside. Medical history is a useful way to understand the roots of themes that are relevant to contemporary medical care and policy and to provide much-needed context for present-day health challenges. For example, historians have advocated teaching about the Tuskegee syphilis experiment as a lesson in how systemic inequality and racism has shaped medical research and care delivery and continues to affect patient-clinician-systems relationships today. However, there is another role for history in medical education, in addition to, not instead of, teaching content knowledge.

CriticalCare.news
November 29, 2018