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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: February 3, 2003
Volume 38, Number 13

Healthcare in modern, middle ages topic for free lectures

The doctor's visit manuscript page from the Canon Malor by Aviccnna. Copyright Scala/Art Resources, NY; Biblioteca Universitaria, Italy.

UNM’s Institute for Medieval Studies presents a weekend of free lectures and discussion on “Medieval Hospitals, Leper Houses, and Leprosy,” Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8, in rm. 122 of Northrop Hall on the UNM campus.

The seminar will analyze how hospitals and healthcare evolved during the Middle Ages and how contemporary healthcare measures up when viewed through the lens of the medieval experience.

The lecturers include distinguished medical history experts from other universities and members of the Albuquerque medical community.

“The topic is especially relevant at this time when healthcare is such a political ‘hot potato,’ when many feel that healthcare in America is in crisis,” Timothy Graham, institute director, said.

“The lecturers will discuss how hospitals first evolved in the Middle Ages, how medicine and architecture interacted in the medieval hospital, and how medieval doctors responded to leprosy, a disease that carried the kind of social stigma now attached to tuberculosis and AIDS,” Graham said.

The aims and achievements of the medieval hospital will be compared with those of the modern hospital, and the contemporary response to dangerous diseases, including diseases endemic in New Mexico. The speakers and topics of the lectures are as follows:

Friday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m.
Dr. Paul T. Cochran, Albuquerque cardiologist and medical director of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, presents, “2003 — Is It the Best of Times or the Worst of Times To Be Sick?”

Cochran will identify three phases in American healthcare policy since Medicare.

Friday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.
Professor Carole Rawcliffe, professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia presents, “A Word from Our Sponsor: Patrons and Patronage in the Medieval Hospital,” a lecture describing how hospitals and healthcare first developed in the Middle Ages. She will analyze the motives of the men and women who built hospitals and examine the art, architecture and topography of the medieval hospitals.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 9 a.m.
Lynn T. Courtenay, professor emerita at the University of Wisconsin, presents, “Medieval Hospitals: Architecture of Charity,” a description of the emergence of public hospitals in 12th century northern Europe and their evolution during the 13th century into multi-purpose places.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 10:15 a.m.
Luke E. Demaitre, visiting professor of the history of medicine at the University of Virginia, presents, “Beyond ‘The Disease of the Soul’: Medical Definitions of Leprosy” a description of how the Middle Ages responded to the leprosy, a disease that carried a strong social stigma, much as AIDS does today.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 11:30 a.m.
Sarah E. Allen, associate professor of medicine at UNM’s Health Sciences Center, presents, “Tuberculosis: Today’s Disease and Treatment in the United States and the Third World,” a discussion of the modern response to tuberculosis, which, like leprosy, carries a stigma.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2 p.m.
Carole Rawcliffe, second lecture, “Patients and Practice in the Medieval Hospital” examines the varied expectations of sick paupers and lepers in the Middle Ages, as well as those of the nurses who tended them.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 3:15 p.m.
Panel Discussion: “The Role of the Hospital and the Response to Dangerous Diseases, Past and Present,” moderated by David A. Bennahum, professor in the Division of Gerontology at UNM’s Department of Internal Medicine. Health Sciences Center experts are among panelists and the audience is encouraged to add to discussion.

“The special value of this seminar lies in the opportunity it offers for direct communication between the humanities and the sciences, and between past and present,” Graham said.

Call 277-2252 or visit www.unm.edu/~medinst/.