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Mission and Programs Overview

The Programs and Mission

The Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine consists of four major units: the Academic Programs, the Clendening Library, the Clendening Museum, and the KU Medical Center Archives. The Department unites these programs in its mission to advance understanding and application of ethical, historical and social analysis of health, medicine and healing.

Using the combined resources of the department we strive to teach students and colleagues how historical and social factors influence health and health care; and we inform our teaching through scholarship in the history and philosophy of medicine that merits national recognition.

The Library and Archives act as careful stewards of the extensive historical collections and promote their use and appreciation; while seeking to add some color to the often drab aesthetic of medical practice.

Finally, through our ethics programs we seek to deepen a moral appreciation of medicine's role in healing through ethics education and scholarship in the medical school and ethics consultation in the KU Hospital.

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Last modified: Mar 23, 2015
News and Events

Upcoming Events
Conference on the History of Rural Medicine April 6 - 7, 2015
Fall 2014 Newsletter
Medicine in the First World War:
Click here to read Medical Care during the First World War - A Special Virtual Issue with an Excerpt from Wounded 


 Guffey Prize in the History of Medicine Winner
The winner of the Guffey Prize in the History of Medicine this year is Brady Lonergan
for his paper on "The Role in Medical Care of the Medieval Orthodox Church in Byzantium." 
This prize is given yearly by the Department of the History and Philosophy of Medicine to a
graduating student for exceptional work in the history of medicine.

For this project Mr. Lonergan sifted through a large collection of primary historical materials
bearing on the question of medical care in this ancient context. The evidence from this distant
culture remains complex and difficult to interpret, requiring cautious interpretation. In his final
analysis of the evidence, Mr. Lonergan presented a lucid and informative picture of medicine
and healing in a land now largely forgotten. We commend Brady Lonergan for his careful work
in understanding the art of healing in this unfamiliar cultural setting, and in a society that established
a basis for practices and beliefs with persisting influence in the modern world.

Current Exhibit
"A Triumph of American Medicine: William Gorgas, Ancon Hospital and The Panama Canal"
The exhibit is available Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5 p.m., Clendening Library foyer, 1000 Robinson.
For more information, contact Nancy Hulston at 913-588-7243.
The exhibit is sponsored by the History and Philosophy of Medicine Department, KU Medical Center, and the University of Kansas Endowment Association.