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School of Medicine

History&Philosophy of Medicine 

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School of Medicine

School of Medicine
Mail Stop 1049
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
913) 588-5200

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KU Course Catalogs
Chair: Christopher Crenner, M.D., Ph.D.
A survey of the history and philosophy of medicine and the sciences applied to medicine from antiquity to the 20th century is offered. The changes and developments of medical theory, practice, organization, and education are traced and their relations with contemporary cultures examined. The following electives on aspects of medical history and philosophy are available.

HPMD 905 Narrative Ethics (4).
Narrative Ethics provides an essential complement to traditional philosophic ethics. Where an analytic approach to ethics reduces moral decisions to rational puzzles to be solved, a narrative approach examines a moral problem within the context of an individuals lived life, characterized by its own unique cultural and personal relationships, values, and commitments. Physicians need the narrative skills of a good reader in order to recognize and respond effectively to moral issues as they arise, to integrate concerns for values and beliefs into the routines of patient care, and to interpret patients moral choices within a framework of an individual life story.


HPMD 906 Medicine and the Movies (0).
Utilizing film clips and video from the early 20th century to the present, the course provides a selected review of important topics in public health, medical institutions, and the professions of medicine and nursing. Consequently, students will become familiar with historical and social factors that have helped shaped medicine in the 20th century.


HPMD 908 Case Studies in Medical Ethics (0).
Subject area to be arranged with faculty as independent study, offered only in August-December each year.


HPMD 909 Ethical Issues In: _____ (4).
"Ethical Issues In ___________" is a course offered to senior medical students who desire to spend a four-week block of time in the systematic examination of the set of ethical issues they are likely to encounter in their chosen post-graduate training program, egs. ethical issues in psychiatry, ethical issues in OB/GYN, etc. The course consists of a guided literature search, regular tutorial sessions and preparation of a short research paper on a particular ethical issue or "case." The course is intended to offer the interested student a basic introduction to the reference tools and literature of contemporary medical ethics; assist the student in developing a critical perspective in ethical controversies within his/her chosen field; and, provide the student with basic analytical skills and approaches to particular ethical problems. Evaluation will be based on participation in tutorial sessions and the research paper. (Interested students should contact the Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine, (x7040) for additional information.) ALL STUDENTS ENROLLING IN THE COURSE MUST CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT AT LEAST ONE MONTH PRIOR TO ENROLLMENT DATE TO ALLOW FOR APPROPRIATE INDIVIDUALIZED PLANNING AND SCHEDULING. Prerequisite: Enrollment limited to senior medical students. (Junior medical students by special permission.)


HPMD 910 Readings in the History of Medicine (4).
Guided readings in an area chosen by the student after consultation. Weekly individual tutorials and group seminars. Offered in Modules I-XII.


HPMD 911 Current Social and Ethical Problems of Medicine (4).
Guided readings and discussion of one or more social or ethical problems currently facing medicine. Examples: Homosexuality, abortion, contraception, medical education, medicine as a social instrument, etc. Offered in modules I-XII.


HPMD 914 Advanced Study in the History of Medicine (4).
Sequel to readings in the history of medicine. Offered in Modules I-XII. Prerequisite: HPMD 910 and approval of chairperson.



Course credit hours are indicated in parentheses after the course title.

Updated 09/17/2014