OpenLearn Scotland
OpenLearn Scotland

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

OpenLearn Scotland

5.7 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.

To access this material click on the course link below. It leads to a separate OpenLearn course and will open in a new window.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this free 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;

  • understand how different historical approaches describe women's access to the medical profession;

  • appreciate the ways in which the growth of British psychiatric institutions was influenced by wider social, economic, political and cultural contexts.



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