On 20 February, the next Descartes Centre History of Science colloquium will be held. In this session Prof. Frank Huisman (Professor History of Medicine) will give a lecture on a new handbook on medical history (in Dutch) for medical students. The Leerboek medische geschiedenis intends to offer Dutch medical students a perspective on scientific and societal developments in medicine and health care.
Descartes Centre History of Science Colloquium
Teaching to medical students
Doing research in the history of science - most preferably in an interdisciplinary way – is among the most important missions of the Descartes Centre. Yet, we should never forget that teaching students in our ‘home faculty’ is another important task. In Huisman's case this concerns teaching medical history to medical students.
The need for a Dutch handbook
Although for this goal many fine handbooks are available, most of them are produced by British colleagues, writing for professional medical historians. More often than not, they are dealing with British topics from a British perspective. Although medicine – as a discipline – may be an international endeavor, health care – as a daily practice – is not. For all these reasons, there seems to be a need for a Dutch handbook focusing on medical students, doing justice to both the international orientation of medicine and its local context. The Leerboek medische geschiedenis seeks to meet that need.
Rethinking the limits and goals of medicine
How did people respond to threats of (public) health over the course of time? Where, how and by whom was medical knowledge created? How was knowledge put into practice? Who was responsible for (public) health? What can we learn from the past? The Leerboek medische geschiedenis intends to offer Dutch medical students a perspective on scientific and societal developments in medicine and health care. In doing so, it does not just tell the story of progress through medicine, but it has a keen eye for the paradoxes inherent in modern health care. To an increasing extent, scientific medical breakthroughs challenge us to rethink the limits and goals of medicine.