History of medicine and health care 2013 Honors College; History 1090; Sociology 1488; shrs 2906 coordinators: Jonathon Erlen, Ph. D. 648-8927-office

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Honors College; History 1090; Sociology 1488; SHRS 2906
COORDINATORS: Jonathon Erlen, Ph.D. 648-8927-office

200 Scaife Hall-office
Email address on gmail:


Email address at Pitt

Thomas G. Benedek, M.D.
TIME: M.-W.-F. 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

358 Cathedral of Learning


All students receiving graduate or undergraduate credit are expected to attend all classes, read the appropriate sections in the 4 assigned textbooks, and to actively participate in class discussions. Each class session will run for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The final 15-minute discussion section following each lecture, while optional, is strongly recommended, as this is the time students will get the opportunity to interact with the faculty and express their own views on the topics presented earlier in the class, as well as raise any additional items of interest from their readings for that class session. This extra 15 minutes is mandatory following each videotape session to permit adequate discussion of the videotapes. Students are also strongly encouraged to set up an appointment to see Dr. Erlen early during the semester to discuss their expectations of this course and to be sure that they fully understand the course’s educational objectives and requirements. The recommended reading assignments in this syllabus for each session are strictly optional, though students are strongly urged to read at least one of these optional readings for each session. The vast majority of these optional readings can be viewed at:

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These optional readings are divided into two sections. Any article that is followed by **** is not on this gmail account but can be ordered for free through Pitt interlibrary loan and you should be able to retrieve it in a few days time. All articles above the double black lines for each section of the syllabus are primary sources drawn from early journal literature. Though they may be scientifically incorrect by our current scientific knowledge they were the gold standard of medical science and therapy when they were published. They represent the real “history of medicine”, as they are the past speaking directly to us. The items below the double black lines are secondary journal articles from the past few decades.
There will be three examinations based on in class lectures and videotapes only-you will not be tested on any of the readings: the first midterm on Friday September 27 will have both an out of class essay and an in-class short answer examination and is worth 20% of the final course grade, a second in-class short answer examination with no out of class essay will be on Wednesday, October 30 and is worth 10% of the final course grade, and a final examination with two out of class essays and an in-house short answer examination will be at a time and date to be set by the university and will be worth 50% of the final course grade. The remaining 20% of the final course grade will be based on the students' book reviews. Undergraduate students are required to submit three book reviews, one apiece on the following dates: September 18, October 18, and November 20: while all graduate students in the humanities or social sciences only are required to submit six book reviews, one apiece on the following dates: September 11, September 25, October 9, October 25, November 18 and December 4.
All book reviews must be between a minimum of three full pages in length and a maximum of five full pages in length and must be typed and double-spaced. One letter grade will be subtracted for each class session a book review is turned in late. All books selected for review must be housed in the History of Medicine collection in the Falk Library of the Health Sciences unless otherwise approved in advance by Dr. Erlen as some books at Hillman Library will be acceptable, and it is strongly recommended that students consult one of the two course professors when making book selections. Strict rules of English grammar will be used in the grading of these reviews-do not use creative writing styles! Book reviews on inappropriate books (juvenile, out of scope) will be rejected at the professors’ discretion. In addition all graduate students in the humanities or social sciences will be required to complete a separate bibliographic project under the direction of Dr. Erlen-this may be verbal or written.
Students are required to attend the four 6:00 PM lectures sponsored by the C. F. Reynolds Medical History Society during the semester that are listed in this syllabus, and extra credit can be earned by attending the noon lecture on October 8.
All these lectures will be held in Scaife Hall and the room numbers for each lecture are included in this syllabus Students may substitute an additional book review in place of attending each of these required lectures if emergencies or other course work interferes.
Dr. Erlen’s office is in the Falk Library of the Health Sciences, 200 Scaife Hall. His standard office hours will be 8 am to 11 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It is highly recommended that you email him in advance to set up a time/date to meet him in his office as he periodically is out with business matters. He is available for email communications 7 days a week.
Students with disabilities who require special testing accommodations or other classroom modifications should notify the instructor and the Office of Disability Resources and Services (DRS) no later than the 4th week of the term. Students may be asked to provide documentation of their disability to determine the appropriateness of the request. DRS is located in 216 William Pitt Union and can be contacted at 648-7890.
All students are encouraged to purchase through Amazon.com and read appropriate selections from the following four texts for this course-you will not be tested on this material:
Conrad, Lawrence I., et.al. The Western Medical Tradition: 800 BC to AD 1800. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Duffy, John. From Humors to Medical Science: A History of American Medicine. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.
Rothman, David J., Marcus, Steven, and Kiceluk, Stephanie A., eds. Medicine and Western Civilization. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1995.
Warner, John H., Tighe, Janet A., eds. Major Problems in the History of American Medicine and Public Health. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.

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