Suggested Readings for

History of Medicine:

A Scandalously Short Introduction

3rd edition July 2021!

1st edition, 1999

2nd ed. 2010






When the second edition was expanded, the publisher wished to save pages and expense by excluding the bibliographies on which the work had been based.  In compensation, this webpage provides links to suggested readings by each chapter. It has been entirely updated for the third edition.

These bibliographies favour books over articles because

1. they are the most important output for historians, and

2. they are largely ignored in the standard medical and scientific indexes (Pubmed, Medline, Web of Science, etc).

Some websites and articles are included, but most can be found by usual internet searches.


Contents (click on chapter links and bibliography should open)

1 Introduction: Heroes and Villains in the History of Medicine
2 The Fabricated Body: History of Anatomy
3 Interrogating Life: History of Physiology
4 Science of Suffering: History of Pathology
5 First Do No Harm: History of Treatment, Pharmacology, and Pharmaceuticals
6 On Becoming and Being a Doctor: Education, Licensing, and Payment
7 Plagues and Peoples: Epidemic Diseases in History
8 Why Is Blood Special? Changing Concepts of a Vital Humour
9 Technology and Disease: Stethoscopes, Hospitals, and Other Gadgets
10 Work of the Hand: History of Surgery
11 Women’s Medicine and Medicine’s Women: History of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women
12 Wrestling with Demons: History of Psychiatry
13 No Baby, No Nation: History of Pediatrics
14 A Many-Faceted Gem: Decline and Rebirth of Family Medicine
15 When the Patient is Plural: Public and International Health
16 Slow as a Glacier, Equally Relentless: Patient-Centred Medicine
 Sleuthing and Science: How to Research a Question in Medical History

Appendix        Resources and Research Tools for the History of Medicine in 5 parts:

1  Important Libraries
2 Bibliographic Guides to the History of Medicine
3 Specific Periods in Western Medicine
4 Non-Western and Alternative Medicines
5 Some Associations, Institutes, and Museums

last update  28 April 2024