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The Robert P Hudson Lecture in the History of Disease

Robert P. Hudson (1926-2014)

Dr. Robert P. Hudson, M.D ('52) joined the KU faculty in 1958. Having served in a variety of administrative capacities in the School of Medicine at the University of Kansas, he is perhaps best known for his tenure as chairman of the Department of History of Medicine (1966-1994). Throughout his life, Hudson cultivated a deep love for the literary arts, an exuberance that extended rather naturally into formal study in the history of medicine at the Johns Hopkins Institute of the History of Medicine. He took his master's degree from that institution in 1966. As a historian, Dr. Hudson was especially interested in the dynamic between society and disease, and specifically how societal perceptions of disease inform treatment. He pursued this question over a long chronological trajectory, which culminated in his book, Disease and Its Control (1983).

Yet, among his contemporaries and successors, Hudson was known as a passionate and enthusiastic teacher. He is often remembered still for his efforts to enliven the history of medicine, writing with polish and wit. Over the years many interested medical students had the option to attend his lectures on Saturday mornings over doughnuts, coffee, and tea. Many remain who experienced those special Saturday mornings. As a remarkable humanist and promotor of the medical humanities, his lectures explored the rich history of medicine, which he always related to current trends in the medical profession.    

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
History and Philosophy of Medicine

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