Social Medicine in Medical Education

The Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine is committed to critical pedagogy with clinical and public health professions trainees as well as undergraduate and graduate students in a range of social science and humanities disciplines. This program seeks to build students’ structural capacities in social medicine, an interdisciplinary field which engages clinical, social science, public health, and health policy perspectives to better understand and intervene upon the social determinants, social meanings, and social responses to illness and health. The practice of social medicine draws attention to the fact that all disease, cure, prevention, and health care inherently have social as well as biological dimensions that are of equal importance in ensuing positive health outcomes.   

Center scholars are actively involved in curriculum development and didactic education for medical students in their pre-clinical and clinical years at Johns Hopkins.  Through our contributions to broader curricular goals and more granular course content, we aim to train health professional students in critical awareness of structural forces, including racism, that shape health experiences, outcomes, and systems. 

Researchers

Joanna Behrman

Graduate Fellow

William Egginton

Director, Alexander Grass Humanities Institute; Professor, German and Romance Languages & Literatures, KSAS

Henry Fessler

Director, Fellowship Training Program in Pulmonary and Critical Care; Professor, SOM

Yulia Frumer

Professor, History of Science and Technology, KSAS

Jeremy Greene, Director

Director, Center for Medical Humanities & Social Medicine; Professor, Medicine & History of Medicine, SOM

Lindsey Grubbs

Graduate Fellow

Alexander Parry

Graduate Fellow

Daniel Polsky

Distinguished Professor

Carolyn Sufrin, Associate Director

Associate Director, Center for Medical Humanities & Social Medicine; Professor, SOM

Charles Wiener

Professor, Medicine, SOM; Director Emeritus, Osler Internal Medicine Training Program

Roy Ziegelstein

Vice Dean for Education at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Upcoming Events

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Past Events

June 2, 2022

Making Space for Social Medicine in Medical School Curricula: Transnational Perspectives and Pedagogy

Critical Global Health Studies / Critical Pedagogies of Health and Society

Title: Making Space for Social Medicine in Medical School Curricula: Transnational Perspectives and Pedagogy What: Online Global Social Medicine Workshop When: June 1-2, 2022 For more info: https://globalsocialmedicine.org/online-workshop-making-space-for-social-medicine-inn-medical-school-curricula-transnational-perspectives-and-pedagogy/ Register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/global-social-medicine-network-online-workshop-tickets-319707332237 Focus: Illness and healing can never fully be separated from social context. Yet while medical education around the world has legible standards for bioscientific subject materials, we are far more uneven in how we teach the social sciences necessary for the study of health and medicine. This event, sponsored by the Global Social Medicine Network, brings together educators from four continents on the challenges and opportunities for teaching social medicine in the 21st century....

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June 1, 2022

Making Space for Social Medicine in Medical School Curricula: Transnational Perspectives and Pedagogy

Critical Global Health Studies / Critical Pedagogies of Health and Society

Title: Making Space for Social Medicine in Medical School Curricula: Transnational Perspectives and Pedagogy What: Online Global Social Medicine Workshop When: June 1-2, 2022 For more info: https://globalsocialmedicine.org/online-workshop-making-space-for-social-medicine-inn-medical-school-curricula-transnational-perspectives-and-pedagogy/ Register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/global-social-medicine-network-online-workshop-tickets-319707332237 Focus: Illness and healing can never fully be separated from social context. Yet while medical education around the world has legible standards for bioscientific subject materials, we are far more uneven in how we teach the social sciences necessary for the study of health and medicine. This event, sponsored by the Global Social Medicine Network, brings together educators from four continents on the challenges and opportunities for teaching social medicine in the 21st century....

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May 6, 2022
9:30 am / 6:00 pm

Conference: Reckoning with Race & Racism in Academic Medicine

Critical Pedagogies of Health and Society / Media, Data, & Health / Race, Racism, & Health / Reproduction, Health, & Society

Title: Reckoning with Race & Racism in Academic Medicine

What: Two-day hybrid conference, for more information visit https://hopkinshistoryofmedicine.org/conf-reckoning-with-racism-med/ 

Where: Hybrid – Virtual & Armstrong 150 West

When: Thursday, May 5th and Friday, May 6th

Who: All are welcome to attend virtually. In person registration is limited to invited speakers and guests and Hopkins Affiliates. Numbers will be capped to ensure distancing.

How to Register: Visit https://hopkinshistoryofmedicine.org/conf-reckoning-with-racism-med/ 

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May 5, 2022
9:30 am / 6:00 pm

Conference: Reckoning with Race & Racism in Academic Medicine

Critical Pedagogies of Health and Society / Media, Data, & Health / Race, Racism, & Health / Reproduction, Health, & Society

Title: Reckoning with Race & Racism in Academic Medicine

What: Two-day hybrid conference, for more information visit https://hopkinshistoryofmedicine.org/conf-reckoning-with-racism-med/ 

Where: Hybrid – Virtual & Armstrong 150 West

When: Thursday, May 5th and Friday, May 6th

Who: All are welcome to attend virtually. In person registration is limited to invited speakers and guests and Hopkins Affiliates. Numbers will be capped to ensure distancing.

How to Register: Visit https://hopkinshistoryofmedicine.org/conf-reckoning-with-racism-med/ 

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November 12, 2021
9:00 am / 5:00 pm

Trans/Medicine Workshop

Critical Pedagogies of Health and Society / Medicine, Science, & Humanities

Medicine and medical understandings have played prominent and problematic features in framing transgender historiography. Often, the critical role of trans people in shaping and contesting medical knowledge and practices has been overlooked. In this workshop, we propose to turn the question around and ask what transgender history says about the history of medicine. How can we use transgender history and trans medicine as a lens to analyze broader developments in medicine? What does trans medicine tell us about knowledge production, medical technologies, and clinical practices in modern medicine? This workshop seeks to illuminate the history of trans/medicine as a broad analytical field with a variety of actors (activists, patients, media, institutions, experts), technologies (paper, pamphlets, membership magazines, newspaper articles, diagnostic tools, hormones, scalpels), and practices (community meetings, parties, rallies, blood tests, clinical examinations, construction of nosologies). The workshop approaches history as a meaningful way of responding to pressing issues for trans people and trans medicine in the present. Organizers: Ketil Slagstad, MD and Jacob Moses, PhD  ...

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Workshop on Transgender Politics & Medicine


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September 22, 2021
5:00 pm

Susceptibility, Surveillance, and Stigma: A Conversation on History, Infectious Disease, and Genomics

Media, Data, & Health / Race, Racism, & Health

Robert H. Levi Leadership Symposium in Bioethics and Health Policy Susceptibility, Surveillance, and Stigma: A Conversation on History, Infectious Disease, and Genomics Modern public health practices for both infectious and noninfectious diseases rely heavily on screening technologies that can predict disease or susceptibility to disease before symptoms are present. Testing technologies have focused on transmission for infectious diseases and on inheritance or susceptibility for genetic diseases, with each category raising social and ethical issues for the people and populations tested and ‘labeled’ with disease. Increasingly, the distinctions between the two types of testing (and diseases) are dissolving, raising a new constellation of social and ethical issues. This public event will bring together a panel of experts to explore how screening technologies for infectious and noninfectious diseases have been used over time to understand and categorize not only disease, but also the people who have the disease. This moderated conversation will explore historical perspectives on (primarily genetic and infectious) disease causation and the relationship of causation to surveillance and stigma, with particular attention to the interplay with social and biological understandings of race. Panelists: Amy Fairchild, Dean and Professor, College of Public Health, Ohio State University Robin Scheffler, Associate Professor, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Quayshawn Spencer, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania Moderator: Jeremy Greene, William H. Welch Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine, and Director of the Department of the History of Medicine and the Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine, Johns Hopkins University...

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September 17, 2021
9:00 am

Black Beyond Data: Combating Racial Injustice Through the Digital Humanities: An Introduction

Media, Data, & Health / Race, Racism, & Health

The Sawyer Seminar on Precision and Uncertainty in a World of Data (a grant co-sponsored with Center for Medical Humanities & Social Medicine’s and the Department of Anthropology) presents “Black Beyond Data: Combating Racial Injustice Through the Digital Humanities: An Introduction” on Friday, September 17th at 9am. Register here for event link. For more information about the Black Beyond Data project, for which CMHSM’s own associate director Sasha White is co-PI, see the article here....

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May 28, 2021
2:00 pm / 3:30 pm

Bioethics: Reckoning with Structures

Epidemic//Endemic / Media, Data, & Health / Race, Racism, & Health

Featuring Dr. Robbie Shilliam and Dr. Jeffrey Kahn of Johns Hopkins University. To register, visit Zoom Webinar. Part of the "Epidemic//Endemic" year-long speaker series sponsored by the Center for Medical Humanities & Social Medicine. Moderated by Dr. Alexandre White, Associate Director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Social Medicine. About the Epidemic//Endemic Speaker Series: The COVID-19 epidemic has starkly illuminated a series of structural forces in health and society that produce endemic disparities. As a result, older questions of inequalities, social relations, and political and economic ideology are now occurring in direct conversation with current issues associated with health and health care systems. The Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine at Johns Hopkins seeks to use this moment to bring scholars together for a yearlong discussion on the role of the COVID-19 epidemic in raising questions of wider importance to the social sciences and the humanities, and vice versa. Note on proceedings: We will be using the Q&A option of Zoom Webinar to collect questions throughout the talk to be asked to our speakers in the last section of the event. If your question is selected, we will ask you to come on screen and converse directly with the speakers. If you do not wish to come on screen, please let us know when submitting your question....

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April 30, 2021
Featured2:00 pm / 4:00 pm

VERDANT MEDICINE: Hildegard’s Resonant Apothecary

Arts, Humanities, & Health / Medicine, Science, & Humanities

VERDANT MEDICINE: HIlDEGARD'S RESONANT APOTHECARY, a livestream concert by medieval ensemble Alkemie and a roundtable conversation on the medicinal use of plants by composer, abbess, and apothecary Hildegard of Bingen.Register by Apr. 22 to receive mailed "intersensory program cards"!

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