Public lecture with Jacalyn M Duffin

Jacalyn M Duffin has explored highlights of medical achievement since the founding of the Oslo school of medicine.

Jacalyn Duffin

In Jacalyn M Duffin's lecture we will, among other things, hear about the invention of the stethoscope. Photo: Wieke Eefting

The physician and historian Jacalyn M Duffin will show that more changes took place in the concepts of disease in the recent two centuries than had occurred in the preceding two millenia.

Innovations, such as the stethoscope, anatomical education, the discoveries of anesthesia, antispesis, and germ theory all contributed to altering concepts of disease, that have been tempered in the most recent decades by evidence-based medicine and genetics.

She will also show how these dramatic changes now serve to emphasize characteristics of ancient medicine.

Jacalyn Duffin's biography

Jacalyn M Duffin, MD (Toronto), FRCP(C), PhD (Sorbonne), FRSC, a hematologist and historian, occupies the Hannah Chair of the History of Medicine at Queen's University, Kingston Canada.

A former President of both the American Association for the History of Medicine and the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine, she is author of eight books and holds several awards for research, writing, teaching, and service.

Her research interests include disease concepts, medical technology, and religion and medicine.

Her most recent book is Medical Saints: Cosmas and Damian in a Postmodern World (Oxford U Press, May 2013). A revised and expanded second edition of her popular textbook for medical students appeared in 2010: History of Medicine a Scandalously Short Introduction (U Toronto Press). Relevant to this lecture, she is also the author of To See with a Better Eye: A Life of R.T.H. Laennec, Princeton University Press, 1998.

She holds fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada (2012) and in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2013).

Her current clinical activity is in breast cancer, and she participates in an award-winning research project on music memory and dementia.

She is founding webmaster of, a site for information about the current drug shortage.


Published Aug. 14, 2014 12:47 PM - Last modified Mar. 15, 2019 1:33 PM