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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
Fall 2015 Newsletter
Dogged Persistance by Dr. Marc Asher
Medicine in the First World War:
Essay Competition for KU Medical Students: Medicine in the First World War
The Impact of Technological Change on the Surgical Profession 2016: Evidence Based Practices

Christopher Crenner, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of history and philosophy of medicine, has been awarded the History of Science Society's 2015 Price/Webster Prize for the best article in the HSS flagship journal Isis for his article "Race and Laboratory Norms: The Critical Insights of Julian Herman Lewis (1891-1989)".

Christopher Crenner, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of history and philosophy of medicine, has been elected president of the American Association for the History of Medicine. He will be the third chair of history of medicine at KU Medical Center to hold the office.

Carla Keirns, M.D., Ph.D.,
assistant professor of medical ethics in the Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine, authored one of the top 10 most-read articles for 2015 in Health Affairs.

Current Exhibit in the Clendening History of Medicine Museum:
On February 18, 1949 the honorable Frank Carlson, governor of the State of Kansas, signed the bill, "Rural Health Program for Kansas." The purpose was to allow more medical professionals to be trained to alleviate a shortage in the state. This bill gained national prominence and became a model for other states. The exhibit is available Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5 p.m., Clendening Library foyer, 1000 Robinson. For more information, contact Alex Welborn 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.