Actualité de la SIHM

A proposal that all medical schools should set up Department of Medical humanism

During the 40th International Congress of the History of Medicine in Budapest in August 2006, Dr Miguel Gonzalez-Guerra of Caracas, Venezuela presented a paper on Medical Humanism.

He noted three aims of medical education, firstly to train doctors to care for the health of individual patients, secondly to teach them to be able to provide health for communities and thirdly and very importantly, to train them to think and work as doctors should. Subjects included in the first type of education are Anatomy and Physiology, Medicine and Surgery, Pharmacology and Pathology. Examples of the second are Social Science, Epidemiology and Public Health. Examples of the third are Philosophy, Ethics, Law and the History of Medicine.

Those involved in the History of Medicine, therefore, should be aware that its role in medical education is a very significant one and should try to maximize its influence. To this end he asked that the ISHM should approve a proposal that all medical schools should establish Departments of Medical Humanism. This would act as a positive force within medical education in developing the behavior sought in an ideal doctor.

Dr Gonzalez-Guerra gave examples from the Hippocratic writings, of the behavior expected in an ideal doctor These included honesty, kindness and tolerance, generosity, modesty, serenity, objectivity and a knowledge of what was necessary and what was useful.

Departments of Medical Humanism would be a focus for and integrate with other allied departments such as Bioethics, Philosophy in Medicine, History of Medicine and Law in Medicine. Dr Gonzalez-Guerra hoped that the ISHM would do as much as possible to help realize these aims.

After this lecture, Klaus Bergdolt (Germany) and Efraim Lev (Israel) joined Miguel Gonzalez-Guerra (Venezuela) to make further comments on teaching the History of Medicine, whose text was published in Vesalius, Vol XII, n° 2, December 2006.

You can read these complete texts in the joined document

The "Budapest Prize" of ISHM/SIHM (Preliminary Notice)

During the 40th International Congress of the History of Medicine in Budapest, it was agreed to create a Prize for the writing of a History of the ISHM.

It is hoped that researchers will compete in gathering together available data from the almost eighty years of the Society's life, which will result in the composition of a high quality monograph.

The deadline for submission is July 2008 and an award of 5000 euros will be made to the winner. A formal announcement will appear in various journals, including Vesalius, and on various web sites. Those interested in competing are encouraged to contact the President of ISHM:

Athanasios Diamandopoulos,

Odos Chorio Romanou, 26500 Patras, Greece.


Prix Jean-Charles Sournia

The French Society for History of Medicine (SFHM) created the "Prix Jean-Charles Sournia", from the name of one of the past President of the ISHM, devoted to reward, every two years, an original research about history of the medical sciences, written in French by "a foreign international researcher of less than 40 years".

Le Prix Jean-Charles Sournia de la Société Française d’Histoire de la Médecine (SFHM) a été créé en 2006. Il a été remis pour la première fois, à Paris, le 18 novembre 2006, à Monsieur Hiro Hirai (Japon), pour son ouvrage intitulé: "Le concept de semence dans les théories de la matière à la Renaissance: de Marcile Ficin à Pierre Gassendi", publié par la prestigieuse maison d'édition belge Brépois, dans sa "Collection des travaux de l'Académie internationale de l'Histoire des Sciences".

Ce prix, la médaille d’argent de la SFHM, est destiné à récompenser, tous les deux ans, un travail de recherche original dans le domaine de l'histoire des sciences médicales, rédigé en français et émanant d'un « chercheur international étranger âgé de moins de 40 ans ».

Le prochain Prix, qui sera remis en novembre 2008 récompensera un travail réalisé au cours des deux années précédentes (juin 2006 à juin 2008), qui peux revêtir différentes formes : livre, article, thèse, texte d’une conférence, etc. Il sera accompagné d’une présentation générale des recherches menées, ainsi que d’une notice biographique.

Les dossiers de candidature doivent être adressés, avant le 30 juin 2008, par courrier postal à :

Guy Cobolet
Prix Sournia – SFHM
Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Médecine
12,  rue de l’École de Médecine
75270 PARIS cedex 06

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