Visiting Speaker Series



Autism and Its Transformations – The History of a Contested Diagnosis

On Oct 3, Dr Jeffrey Baker, Professor of Pediatrics and History of Medicine, enthralled a large Schulich Medicine audience with his 2017 Visiting Speaker lecture – “Autism and Its Transformations: The History of a Contested Diagnosis.”  Dr Baker described five different narratives that emerged during the past century as physicians and parents grappled to understand and diagnose autism.  His talk highlighted themes of disease complexity, physician authority, doctor-parent relationships, and more.  An engaging question-and-answer session followed Dr Baker’s lecture.  It was wonderful to see that this year's lecture topic drew our most diverse audience yet, including medical students, faculty, physicians and members of the public.  Thank you all for attending!

Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD is the Director of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine as well as Professor of Pediatrics and History of Medicine at Duke University, Durham, NC.

Below are photos from the event:

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About the Visiting Speaker Series 

Presented by the History of Medicine Office at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Every autumn a distinguished medical historian is invited to Western University to deliver a public lecture to medical students and faculty as well as interested members of the London community. The lecture series was established in 2015 through the generosity of a donor impressed with the engagement and quality of medical student presentations in the history of medicine at the spring History of Medicine Colloquium at Schulich Medicine. In this spirit, this funding further bolsters medical student engagement with the history of medicine by bringing leading scholars to Western, significantly adding to the intellectual community and educational experience of students.

Past Speakers

  • 2016 - Dr. Jacalyn Duffin, Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, Queen's University
    "The Stethoscope at 200: A Revolutionary Device now Obsolete?"

    Photos and information on the 2016 lecture available here.

  • 2015 - Prof. Dale C. Smith, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
    "Caring for the Wounded: How the Great War Medical Experience Shaped Post-War American Surgery"

    Photos and information on the 2015 lecture available here.