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The Iago Galdston Lecture: Who is Doctor X? Physicians in Training and the Mass-Market Memoir

Date: March 25, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Refreshments at 5:30 PM

Speaker(s):

Heather Varughese John, M.D., Ph.D

Location: The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029


Physicians-in-training are almost as ubiquitous in popular culture as they are on hospital floors, yet their status as not quite fully fledged physicians is not always recognized. The mass-market memoir has helped increase the visibility of these physicians as trainees, as well as raise awareness of the dilemmas posed by an educational model of learning how to treat patients, by treating patients. The first in a long line of narratives to do this was a 1965 best-seller, Intern, by “Doctor X.”

Despite the precedent Intern set for exposing difficult realities underlying medical education, the physician-authors behind Doctor X and his successors have remained inscrutable figures. This talk will explore not only what these narratives have to say about medical education, but who their authors were, and why they wrote what they did, when they did. These narratives richly reflect the ways in which social change, and rights movements in particular, transformed the American medical profession in the late 20th century.

About the Speaker(s)

Heather Varughese John, M.D., Ph.D., is a recent graduate of the Program in the History of Science and Medicine at Yale University. Her doctoral dissertation, “Practicing Physicians: The Intern & Resident Experience in the Shaping of American Medical Education, 1945–2003,” examines medical trainees’ efforts to reform their own training. She is an independent scholar in Los Angeles.

 

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Cost: Free, but advanced registration is required
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