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Shelley McKellar, PhD
Hannah Professor in the History of Medicine
Office: HSA 041

Teaching and Related Activities


- Intro to Medicine, History of Medicine lectures (1st year medical curriculum)

- Integration, Consolidation & Enrichment (ICE), History of Medicine module (4th year medical curriculum)

- HIS 2812E "Plague, Pox and Flu: Disease in Global History" (2nd year lecture course)

- Osler Society - "Fostering a greater appreciating of the history of medicine and its role in medical education"

- History of Medicine Colloquium -- an annual event showcasing medical history research conducted by Western medical students

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Professor McKellar studies the history of medicine and disease, with a special interest in the history of medical technology, instruments and devices, the history of surgery, and medical biography. Select publications and presentations are listed below.

  • (2013) "Medicine and Technology in the United States," Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology, forthcoming.
  • (2013) "Negotiating Risk: The Failed Development of Atomic Hearts in America, 1967-1977," Technology and Culture 54,1 (Jan 2013): forthcoming.
  • (2008) Medicine and Technology in Canada, 1900-1950. with Allison Kirk-Montgomery. Transformation Series #16 (Ottawa: Canada Science and Technology Museum, 2008). 171 pp.
  • (2008) Essays in Honour of Michael Bliss: Figuring the Social. Co-edited with Alison Li, Elsbeth Heaman. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008). 491 pp.
  • (2008) "Limitations Exposed: Willem J. Kolff and his Contentious Pursuit of a Mechanical Heart,” in Essays in Honour of Michael Bliss: Figuring the Social, (University of Toronto Press): 400-434.
  • (2006) "Learning Through Objects: Development of the UWO Medical Artifact Collection as a Teaching and Research Resource,” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History Vol.23, No.1 (2006): 217-241.
  • (2003) Surgical Limits: The Life of Gordon Murray (University of Toronto Press, 2003). 270 pp.
  • Jan 17, 2013 -- "Dick Cheney's 'Change of Heart': Profile and Politics in the Fight Against Heart Disease," Dept of History, Western University
  • Nov 23, 2012 -- "A Tale of Two Londons: Cholera and the Role of Epidemiology in 19th Century London, England and London, Ontario," Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Western University
  • Oct 26, 2012 -- "Surgical Transgressions? Michael DeBakey, Denton Cooley and the Controversial Artificial Heart Case in 1969," Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon
  • Sept 14, 2012 -- "Challenging Students with Toothkeys and Scarificators: Experiences with Object-based Teaching in History," EAMHMS Conference, Berlin, Germany

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The departmental facilities are located in room H041 of the Health Sciences Addition Building at The University of Western Ontario. These include, besides faculty and administrative offices, a reference library of approximately two thousand titles in the history of science and medicine, and an artifact collection containing over one thousand catalogued items dating primarily from 1880-1920, which illustrate the early history of medicine in Southwestern Ontario.

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History of Medicine Colloquium 2014 - Student Perspectives: Embracing the Past

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
4:30 - 6:30 p.m. MSB Rm. 148 

At this colloquium, Schulich Medicine students will each deliver short presentations (about 10 minutes) on some aspect of the history of medicine and health care. A brief Q&A period will follow each presentation, and prizes will be awarded. The event is open to all medical students, clinicians, faculty and staff within the university community.

This year's presenters are:

James Ahlin, Meds 2016 — “From Vapours to Variola:  An Early Treatise on Smallpox in the Context of our Modern Understanding of Viruses”

Samuel Chen, Meds 2014 — “Sir James Cantlie and Dr. Sun Yat-sen: How the Father of Liver Surgery Saved the Father of Modern China”

Kevin Dueck, Meds 2016 —“Dominique Jean Larrey and the Treatment of Fractures: From Amputation to Casting”

Zoe Kichler, Meds 2015 (Windsor campus) — “The Untold Story of the Male Oral Contraceptive Pill”

Daniel Liu, Meds 2017 — “The Osler Society at Western University: A Century of Enhancing Medical Education”

Hannah MacKenzie, Meds 2016 — “Body Connections from Vesalius’ Fabrica to Bodyworlds:  The Importance of Context in Anatomical Knowledge Transfer”


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