History of medicine in medical education: new Italian pathways


  • Silvia Iorio Department Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Unit of History of Medicine and Bioethics, Sapienza - University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
  • Valentina Gazzaniga Department Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Unit of History of Medicine and Bioethics, Sapienza - University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
  • Donatella Lippi Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence Studies, Florence, Italy.




History of medicine, medical education, Italian case, medical humanities


Objective: There is little doubt that there are currently obstacles in measuring the impact of the history of medicine within medical training. Consequently, there is a clear need to support a vision that can historicize Euro-Western medicine, leading to a greater understanding of how the medical world is a distinct form of reality for those who are about to immerse themselves in the study of medicine.

Methods: History teaches that changes in medicine are due to the processes inherent to the interaction among individuals, institutions, and society rather than individual facts or individual authors.

Results: Therefore, we cannot ignore the fact that the expertise and know-how developed during medical training are the final product of relationships and memories that have a historical life that is based social, economic, and political aspects.

Conclusion: Moreover, these relationships and memories have undergone dynamic processes of selection and attribution of meaning, as well as individual and collective sharing, which have also been confronted with archetypes that are still able to influence clinical approaches and medical therapy today.


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