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Johns Hopkins Celebrates 75th Anniversary of Institute of the History of Medicine

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Media Contact: Trent Stockton
410-955-8665 /
October 18, 2004

Johns Hopkins Celebrates 75th Anniversary of Institute of the History of Medicine

The Institute of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins was the first department of its kind in the United States and became a prototype for similar departments within leading medical schools.  The institute was founded in 1929 by William H. Welch, M.D., one of the “founding four” luminaries of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the first dean of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and first director of the institute. 

“The institute has, for 75 years, sought to bring historical perspectives to bear on contemporary health issues like AIDS, malaria and the explosive development of technology in medicine with the goal of advancing the art and science of medicine for society as a whole,” says Randall M. Packard, Ph.D., current director and William H. Welch Professor of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins.

Today, the institute houses the largest history of medicine faculty in the United States, with eight full-time members in addition to annually appointed visiting faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.  Research at the institute ranges from the history of early modern medicine, to the history of disease and public health, to the role of genetics in medical education and practice. 
The institute also houses an important historical collection and is the home of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, which is the official journal of the American Association for the History of Medicine. The institute's director also oversees the Alan Mason Chesney Archives and the Office of Cultural Affairs Program.

Special Notice:

On Monday, Oct. 18, 2004, at 4 p.m., at the Mountcastle Auditorium, Preclinical Teaching Building, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Barron H. Lerner, professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University Medical Center, will present the Gibride Memorial Lecture, titled, "Competing Stories: Revisiting the Libby Zion Case."

The Libby Zion case, involving the death of a young woman patient at New York Hospital in 1984, became a landmark in the history of graduate medical education, and led to the establishment of regulations regarding the number of hours residents can be on duty.

To arrange media coverage, contact Trent Stockton at 410-955-8665.

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