History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Research Forum
This series provides opportunities for faculty, students, staff, and visiting researchers to present recent work or unfinished work-in-progress in an informal, presentation-and-discussion format. Programs are held from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m., one Friday each month during the academic year, in the Rare Book Room on the 4th floor of the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library. Box lunches are provided to all attendees who reserve a seat by noon on the previous Monday; attendees bring their own beverages. Seating is limited and is not guaranteed without a reservation. Reservations may be made by contacting History and Special Collections for the Sciences (voice: 310.825.6940; email: email@example.com).
The program calendar is organized by historian Dr. Marcia L. Meldrum, UCLA Center for Health Services and Society (voice: 310.794.6290; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Inevitable Hour: A history of caring for Dying Patients in America
Emily K. Abel, Ph.D.
Professor emerita, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Friday, 10 May 2013
At the turn of the twentieth century, medicine’s imperative to cure disease increasingly took priority over the demand to relieve pain and suffering at the end of life. The Inevitable Hour demonstrates that professional attention and resources gradually were diverted from dying patients. The new book helps to explain why a movement to restore dignity to the dying arose in the early 1970s and why its goals have been so difficult to achieve.
The Bio-Social Ecology of Epidemics: Yellow Fever in Providence ca. 1800
Robert G. Frank, Jr., Ph.D.
Professor, UCLA Department of History
Friday, 12 April 2013
Epidemics happen. And since Thucydides, historians and literati have written extensively and graphically on the chaos that epidemics bring. This narrative mode has largely characterized the voluminous writings on yellow fever outbreaks in the United States from 1790 to 1905, when it seemed that no coastal town or city—especially southern—was safe from “yellow jack.” As I started exploring the epidemics ca. 1800 in the port town of Providence, Rhode Island (the 9th largest city in the young U.S.), I discovered an unusually rich trove of thousands of documents from which I could write a similar detailed narrative.
But I also found an even more interesting story—of the way in which the epidemics, in their timing and course, were shaped by what I call the “bio-social ecology of disease.” This ecology, is comprised of many interacting components: the nature of the yellow fever virus, the detailed characteristics of its vector (the mosquito Aedes aegypti), how the two cause the clinical picture of yellow fever, the weather and climate of the town, the topography of the port, the patterns of trade to the Caribbean, the characteristics of the merchant fleet, the activist nature of the town’s citizens, their hands-on political institutions, the medical care delivered to patients, and the preventative measures (such as patient isolation and ship inspection/ quarantine) that the town put in place. My presentation will privilege the structural, rather than the narrative, elements of this case study.
Waiting for Help: Predictors of Emergency Department Waiting Times for Women
Jitka Sammartinova, Ph.D. candidate
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Friday, 8 March 2013
My study investigated the predictors of hospital emergency department wait time in the U.S. in patients in general and in patients with acute myocardial infarction. The purpose of the research was to dissociate disparities in the quality of care. I used a large recent national population-based data set to test my study questions
Gender, Genetics, and Desire in Popular Culture: The View from Huntington's Disease
Alice Wexler, Ph.D.
Research Scholar, UCLA Center for the Study of Women
Friday, 18 January 2013
Although the concept of "hereditary disease" has a long history in medicine and in literature, it was only in the 1980s that Huntington's Disease (HD)--a progressively devastating hereditary neurological and psychiatric disorder--began to appear in the print media and in fiction and television dramas, presumably in response to HD research advances and to new developments in molecular genetics generally. Gender, however, has been conspicuously absent from biomedical discussions of Huntington's, presumably because it afflicts males and females in equal numbers. As part of my ongoing project on representations of Huntington's in popular culture, my talk will look at the intersections of gender, desire, and genetic identity in some recent fiction and TV dramas, exploring the ways in which they both confirm and challenge genetic and gender stereotypes and, at times, have offered new ways of thinking about disability and disease.
We Are All Doctor X: The Shared Narrative of House Staff Memoirs, 1965-1989
Heather Varughese John, Ph.D. candidate
History of Medicine, Yale University
Friday, 7 December 2012
The first housestaff training narrative, Intern, published by Doctor X in 1965, established a story arc which was perpetuated by its countless successors. These reflected a remarkable stability over time in the housestaff experience and in the medical profession's rhetorical ideals and values regarding the process of becoming a doctor. In many ways these memoirs were fundamentally conservative, buttressing the established profession. But they also functioned subversively--reflection bred discontent with the nation's system of training doctors, both within the profession and the reading public.
Social Poison: The Culture and Policies of Opiate Control in Britain and France, 1821-1926
Howard Padwa, Ph.D.
Translational Fellow in Mental Health Services, Smel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA
Friday, 9 November 2012
For most of the twentieth century, authorities in Great Britain and France took divergent approaches to the drug problem. The British sanctioned maintenance treatment for addiction, while the French authorities did not hesitate to take legal action against addicts and the doctors who prescribed drugs to them. Dr. Padwa will explore the factors that led to these disparate approaches, focusing in differences in the drug-using populations of the two countries, and the way that divergent conceptions of citizenship influenced the development of drug control and treatment policies. He will conclude with a discussion of how ideas of citizenship and community continue to influence the way that addiction is treated today.
From Primitive Fear to Civilized Stress
Otneil E. Dror, M.D., Ph.D.
Joel Wilbush Chair in Medical Anthropology and Head, History of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Visiting Scholar (2011-2013), Department of History and the Institute for Society and Genetics, UCLA
Friday, 19 October 2012
Speaker's summary: In this presentation, I provide an initial analysis of the basic post-World War Two model of acute stress. My major argument is that post-World War Two modeling of states of acute stress drew on and internalized interwar models of "Voodoo Death." This process entailed the reframing of what had been conceived and construed as a "primitive" and extreme form of fear, which was confined to "primitive" people in "primitive" societies into the everyday and pervasive stress experience of "civilized" peoples in modern Western societies. The transformation of "primitive" "voodoo death" into "civilized" acute stress during the post-Second World War period is the subject matter of my talk.
Educating Women Physicians of the World: International Students at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania
Sarah Pripas, Ph.D. candidate
Department of History, UCLA
Friday, 16 March 2012
Owning the Disease: Patient Activism in AIDS and Mental Illness, 1970-2000
Marcia L. Meldrum, Ph.D.
Departments of History and Psychiatry, UCLA
Friday, 17 February 2012 [cancelled]
Mental Health and Economic History: Changes in Antipsychotic Drug Markets in the U.S., ca. 1960-2000
Brad Fidler, Ph.D.
Department of History, UCLA
Friday, 20 January 2012
On Women's Reproductive Health and Access to Health Care in 19th Century Rio de Janeiro
Cassia P. Roth, Ph.D. candidate
Department of History, UCLA
Friday, 18 November 2011
On the Historical, Social, and Cultural Context of the Concept of "Recovery" in Mental Health
Joel T. Braslow, M.D., Ph.D.
Departments of Psychiatry and History; Frances O'Malley Administrative Chair of Neuroscience History, UCLA
Friday, 21 October 2011