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This free course, Health, disease and society: Scottish influence in the 19th century, examines the role that Scots played in contributing to the developments in healthcare during the nineteenth century. The radical transformation of medicine in Europe included the admission of women as doctors and the increased numbers of specialised institutions such as asylums. Such developments were also influenced by wider social, economic, political and cultural backgrounds these are also examined.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- describe the Scottish contributions to the history of medical thinking and practice in the nineteenth century
- give examples of many medical advances that were influenced by wider social, economic, political and cultural contexts
- understand how developments in medical education permitted women to qualify and practise as doctors
- appreciate that the laboratory had a limited impact on medical practice until the twentieth century
- describe the status of medical practitioners in Europe during the nineteenth century.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The rise of laboratory medicine
- 2 The emergence of a modern profession?
- 3 Women in medicine: doctors and nurses, 1850–1920
- 4 The rise of the asylum
- Next Steps
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Health, disease and society: Scottish influence in the 19th century
This course examines the roles of Scots who contributed to the comprehensive transformation of medicine in the nineteenth century. It begins by observing how laboratory practices led to improved techniques of medical diagnosis. This is followed by assessing how Scots contributed to the emerging collective identity of medical practitioners, as well as the improvements in licensing that led to reform of the medical professions. Many new developments in medical education also enabled women to qualify and practise medicine for the first time.
Finally, using many Scottish examples, the last section of this course presents information about how healthcare institutions, namely asylums, were again influenced by social, economic, political and cultural contexts.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free History of Medicine courses or view the range of currently available OU History of Medicine courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 20th February 2014
Last updated on: Thursday, 20th February 2014
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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