Graduate Studies at Vanderbilt - History of Medicine
-- Thomas Eakins, The Gross Clinic, 1875,
Graduate students in History can do a major or minor field in the history of medicine or the history of science and medicine. Minor fields are also available in such related areas as medical anthropology, medical sociology, and bioethics.
Work in medical history at Vanderbilt benefits from the contributions of multiple units both within and outside the University and from a commitment to developing interdisciplinary studies of health and health care. Five faculty members in the Department of History teach and do research in the field. Dennis C. Dickerson works on the history of African-American medical practitioners. Elizabeth Lunbeck is a historian of medicine, science, and gender, with a particular interest in the history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Matthew Ramsey studies the political, social, economic, and cultural forces that shaped medicine and public health in modern Europe, with an emphasis on late eighteenth and nineteenth century France. Ruth Rogaski examines the connections between medicine and modernity in nineteenth and twentieth-century China. Arleen Tuchman, in her work on the rise of scientific medicine in western industrialized countries, explores changing and contested meanings about gender, the body, and scientific knowledge. Other faculty members with health-related interests can be found in Anthropology, Classical Studies, Economics, English, French and Italian, Germanic and Slavic Languages, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Spanish and Portuguese.
Pablo Gomez, M.D. (Instituto de Ciencias de la Salud in Medellin, Colombia,), Ph.D., Vanderbilt, 2010. Dissertation: “Bodies of Encounter: Health, Illness and Death in the Early Modern African-Spanish Caribbean.” Assistant Professor, tenure-track, Texas Christian University.
Students in medical history can join the Vanderbilt Center for Medicine, Health, and Society. It offers an interdisciplinary M.A. which can be combined with the history Ph.D. The Center sponsors seminars, workshops, lectures, and conferences. The Center’s new director, Professor Jonathan Metzl, holds a Ph.D. in American Studies as well as an M.D. and has published extensively on recent American medical history
A major advantage for the study of medical history at Vanderbilt is the close proximity of two medical schools -- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, located adjacent to the main Vanderbilt campus, and Meharry Medical College, situated less than two miles from Vanderbilt. They are formally linked through the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance.
Vanderbilt and Nashville are rich in resources for the researcher in medical history. At Vanderbilt, the Eskind Biomedical Library Special Collections comprise the Historical Collection (located in the History of Medicine Room on the third floor of the library) and the Archives of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The Historical Collection contains over 14,000 books on the history of medicine and nursing, a collection of medical instruments, manuscript collections of prominent figures in the institution's history and leaders in the field of nutrition, and thousands of photographs documenting the history of Vanderbilt Medical School. The Eskind Library is located on Garland Avenue, near the Vanderbilt Hospital. For additional information, contact the Special Collections Librarian, Mary Teloh. The Meharry Medical College Information Center Library houses the college archives, materials relating to racial and ethnic minority health and health disparities, and the Evelyn Tomes Black Nursing Collection. For more information , contact the Archives Assistant, Barbara Grissom.