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NLM History of Medicine Lecture on April 12: The Analog Patient: Imagining Medicine at a Distance in the Television Era

Posted by on April 5th, 2016 Posted in: News from NLM


You are invited to join the next National Library of Medicine History of Medicine lecture, which will be live-streamed on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 8:00am to from 9:00am PT

Jeremy Greene, MD, PhD, will speak on “The Analog Patient: Imagining Medicine at a Distance in the Television Era.” Dr. Greene is Associate Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine, Elizabeth Treide and A. McGehee Harvey Chair in the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Greene’s presentation is part of Images & Texts in Medical History: A Workshop in Methods, Tools, & Data from the Digital Humanities, a program hosted by the NLM, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and made possible through a multi-institutional collaboration involving the NLM, NEH, Virginia Tech, the Wellcome Library, and the Wellcome Trust. Learn more about the workshop through its web site http://medicalhistworkshop.org/.

In his presentation, Dr. Greene will examine the particular hopes and fears surrounding the incorporation of the television into medicine. His interest here is not to study the historical representation of medicine on television shows from Marcus Welby to House M.D, but instead to ask how the television became recruited as a new high-tech tool for clinical practice, medical research, and physician education, to explore how the television was briefly situated  at the center of attempts to create visual networks of medical knowledge, linking providers and patients in dreams of a “wired nation” several decades before the creation of the internet. The setting is the 20 year period between 1959 and 1979, where hopes and fears for networked televisions-specifically prompted through new technological systems like satellite transmission and the cable system-became grounds for hopes and fears of a new group of technological futurists in medicine, including tele psychiatry activists in the Midwest, Picturephone promoters in the South Side of Chicago, and would be media theorists practicing at Harvard teaching hospitals.

Dr. Greene’s presentation is connected to his current research project, Medicine at a Distance, which examines how changing expectations of instantaneous communications through electric, electronic, and digital media transformed the nature of medical knowledge. Most histories of medical technology focus on heroic diagnostic and therapeutic innovations–like X-rays and artificial hearts–which stand as visible symbols of medical modernity. Dr. Greene’s research is focused on recapturing how more mundane technologies of communication enabled and altered the production, circulation, and consumption of medical knowledge, from telegraph to text pager, telephone to telemedicine, fax machine to Facebook.

Dr. Greene’s broader research interests focus on the history of disease, medical technology, the history of global health, and the relationship between medicine and the marketplace. He received his MD and PhD in the history of science from Harvard, completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and he is board certified in Internal Medicine and a member of the American College of Physicians. In addition to his appointment at the Institute for the History of Medicine, Dr. Greene also practices internal medicine at the East Baltimore Medical Center, a community health center affiliated with Johns Hopkins.

Join Dr. Greene’s presentation, live-streamed  by NIH VideoCasting, on Tuesday, April 12 at 8:00am PT:  https://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=18760&bhcp=1. Pre-registration is not required.

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Developed resources reported in this program are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.

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