2015 Visiting Speaker

2015 Visiting Speaker

Hannah Professor Emeritus Paul Potter, Visiting Speaker Prof Dale C. Smith, Hannah Professor Shelley McKellar, Medical Historian and Professor Shauna Devine

A superb launch to the History of Medicine Visiting Speaker Series took place on October 21st with the inaugural lecture -- "Caring for the Wounded: How the Great War Medical Experience Shaped Post-War American Surgery" -- delivered by Prof Dale C. SmithIn a well-attended, 45-minute lecture, Prof Smith began by talking about professionalism and social contract theory, specifically the function, expertise and privilege that came with 'doctoring.'  He pointed out how that professionalism evolved alongside American surgery before the Great War, before then transitioning into telling the audience about the war experience and its impact thereafter.  The speaker's knowledge and enthusiasm for the topic mesmerized the audience!  The History of Medicine Office at Schulich Medicine and Dentistry is grateful for the opportunity to bring such high-caliber speakers to Western. 

About the 2015 lecture

Caring for the Wounded: How the Great War Medical Experience Shaped Post-War American Surgery

Though initially unprepared to treat the combatants of a modern war, as the First World War progressed, American physicians effectively developed new skills which improved surgical outcomes, advanced the general understanding of shock, and transformed patient care in the wartime hospitals. This lecture will examine the many ways that physicians responded to the challenges of doctoring during the war and will discuss how these medical experiences were used to transform surgery in the post-war United States. 

About the 2015 Speaker 

Dale C. Smith is Professor of Military Medicine & History in the Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. In 1979 he received his Ph.D. in the History of Medicine from the University of Minnesota, where he remained on the Faculty until moving to the Uniformed Services University in 1982. He is the author of numerous papers on medical history. His critical edition of William Budd's Essay on the Causes of Fevers was published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in 1984. His most recent book is a centennial history of the American Gastroenterological Association (1999). He has served as Associate Editor of the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine and as the editor of the AAHM NewsLetter. He is also a Consulting Historian for Military Medicine, the journal of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. In 1987 he received the Laurance D. Redway Award for Excellence in Medical Writing. From 2006 until 2013 he served as the Senior Vice President of the USU. His professional interests include the history of medical education, the history of infectious diseases, the history of surgery, and the problems of patient evacuation in military operations.

"What is it like to teach medical students in a military environment?" Read Dr Dale Smith's answer to this question and more in an interview conducted by Dr Shauna Devine earlier this month. Click here for interview transcript.