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Learning from history: the value of a BSc in the history of medicine

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/sbmj.0204116 (Published 01 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:0204116
  1. Andrew Moscrop, final year medical student1
  1. 1University of Edinburgh

“Can anyone tell me who invented the stethoscope?” The consultant peered over his half moon lenses, from beneath a pair of bushy grey brows, surveying the medical students shuffling awkwardly in front of him. We were silent. We could not tell him. We were soon dismissed as heathens and our education slandered by the ageing clinician

When I returned to his ward a year later not only could I have provided that consultant with the answer, but I could have offered him a lecture on the subject. Between my third and fourth years at medical school I interrupted my clinical studies to cross the borders of discipline and nation; from medicine in Scotland to history in England. It was the most enjoyable and exciting year of my life and the lessons I learnt will benefit my clinical career.

1

A Wellcome break

The Wellcome Trust offers one year intercalated BSc programmes in the history of medicine in London and Manchester. Medical students from all over Britain are eligible to apply for places. Becoming a historian at …

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