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Last updated:

November 26, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This course examines the growing importance of medicine in culture, economics and politics.

It uses an historical approach to examine the changing patterns of disease, the causes of morbidity and mortality, the evolution of medical theory and practice, the development of hospitals and the medical profession, the rise of the biomedical research industry, and the ethics of health care in America

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction: Disease, Medicine, and Society Unlimited
  • Health and Disease Before Columbus Unlimited
  • Virgin Soil Epidemics Unlimited
  • The Health of Colonists Unlimited
  • Disease and the Environment Unlimited
  • Urbanization and Public Health Unlimited
  • The Decline of Tuberculosis Unlimited
  • Epidemiological Transitions and Health Disparities Unlimited
  • The Determinants of Health and Disease Unlimited
  • Debate: Disease History and Health Policy Unlimited
  • American Indian Medicine Unlimited
  • Colonial Medical Theory and Practice Unlimited
  • Inoculation and Vaccination Unlimited
  • Self Help and Heroic Medicine Unlimited
  • Medical Education Unlimited
  • The Rise of Hospitals Unlimited
  • Race, Gender, and Medicine Unlimited
  • Psychiatry and Mental Health Unlimited
  • Anesthesia and the Rise of Surgery Unlimited
  • Germ Theory and the Therapeutic Revolution Unlimited
  • Public Health Politics I: Plague in Chinatown Unlimited
  • Medical Technology and the Modern Hospital Unlimited
  • Specialization and Medical Education Unlimited
  • Public Health Politics II: HIV/AIDS Unlimited
  • Health Care Policy: Access and Cost Unlimited
  • Disease and Society in the 21st Century Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology