Who gets sick, who gets better, and why?

The biological mechanisms of medical science and the quantitative sciences of public health only get us partway to the answers to these fundamental questions.  Key aspects of our understanding of health and illness are only answerable through analyses that draw from the methods of humanities and social sciences—including ethnography, history, philosophy, and sociology—to help understand the social context of illness and health outside of the ordered environment of the hospital, clinic, and laboratory. The Johns Hopkins Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine is an interdisciplinary teaching and research unit that bridges the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences across the campuses of Johns Hopkins University to foster innovative interdisciplinary scholarship with maximum impact, and to train undergraduates, graduate students, and health professionals with skills to apply critical social analysis to the study of health and disease.

The Center’s current programs investigate: Medicine, Science, and Humanities; Critical Global Health Studies; Reproduction, Health, and Society; Technology, Data, and Health; Race, Racism, and Health; Social Medicine in Medical Education; and Arts, Humanities, and Health.

Together, the fields of social medicine and medical humanities and arts help health care professionals develop acumen in addressing nuance, contradiction and uncertainty in health care settings and in broader society.  


12:00 pm
March 31
A new episode of “For the Medical Record” will be published March 31! Join us in our conversation with medical student Walker Magrath about his recent work as a scholarly concentrator in the history of medicine. In 2022, Walker published an article in Annals of Internal Medicine titled The Fall of the Nation’s First Gender-Affirming Surgery Clinic. In this episode, we discuss the history of this gender-affirming surgery clinic here at Johns Hopkinshow studying the medical humanities and medical history can improve medical education and practiceand the continued struggle for equity in LGBTQIA+ healthcare. Thanks for listening!  Subscribe to our podcast “For the Medical Record” to be alerted when new episodes drop – you can do this on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify.
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11:00 am / 2:00 pm
May 5
The Opioid Industry Documents Archive (OIDA) invites you to Exploring the Opioid Industry Documents: Research Communities, Educational Opportunities, and Community Data. This event will feature a webinar where scholars will discuss how they successfully used OIDA and other Industry Documents Library (IDL) collections. We will also conduct a hands-on virtual workshop that will help researchers navigate and explore the OIDA’s under-researched and rich collections. The webinar portion of the event will be open to the public. The workshop session is only open to those who register for this part of the event. Please register here for the virtual workshop. Registration is free, but space is limited. Attendees will be chosen on a first come first serve basis.     Millions of once-private industry documents have recently been made public as a result of the nationwide litigation related to the opioid crisis.  Over the past year a joint effort between UCSF’s IDL and the Johns Hopkins University has made them all accessible online: a repository comprised of opioid manufacturers, pharmacies, wholesalers, and consulting firms – with more to come. In addition to revealing the central role these companies and pharmacies played in the opioid crisis, the documents also provide a rich set of sources for scholars in health policy, medical sociology, medical anthropology, business ethics, public health, law, legal history, history of medicine, history of public health, business history, and more. Webinar: May 5: 11:00 a.m.— 12:45 p.m. (ET) Free and open to the public. Link here. Workshop: May 5: 1:00 p.m.—2:00 p.m. (ET). Register here.
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