Sam Scharff

I am currently working as an MD PhD student at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where I am developing my skills as a clinician, researcher, and educator. After completing my PhD dissertation, I will return for my final year of medical school and will apply to clinical residency programs.

My research focuses on the historical relationship between psychiatry, law, and politics in the United States from the 19th century to the present. I am particularly interested in the ways that mid-century reformers of the US criminal justice system attempted to base legal decision-making on the psychiatric cutting edge, and the paradoxical effects these reforms had on the decline of the rehabilitative ideal in US corrections and the expansion of the US institutional network of incarceration. I am also involved with designing and implementing courses geared for medical students, undergraduates, and law students related to the history of medicine and social medicine.