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May 6, 2004

Bodemer Lecture to focus on medical education revolution

Dr. Kenneth M. Ludmerer will be on campus next week to present the 2004 Charles W. Bodemer Lecture for the School of Medicine’s Department of Medical History and Ethics. Ludmerer is an eminent internist, medical educator and historian of medicine, and is currently a professor in the departments of Medicine and History at Washington University in St. Louis.

The Bodemer Lecture, “The Coming of the Second Revolution in Medical Education,” will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 11, in Hogness Auditorium at the Health Sciences Center. The symposium is free and open to the public; no registration is necessary. A reception will begin at 5 p.m. outside of Hogness Auditorium.

In his talk, Ludmerer will describe how the system of medical education in the United States and the academic medical center were created, how those institutions became vulnerable to the environment of health care delivery, what the threats to medical education currently are, and what constructive steps might be taken to address these dilemmas.

He received an M.A. and M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Following medical school, he completed a residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and graduate work in history at Harvard. From 1978-79, he was chief resident in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital, and the following year he joined the faculty of Washington University.

Ludmerer is best known for his work in medical education and the history of medicine. His first book, Genetics and American Society (1972), a study of the American eugenics movement, was on Saturday Review’s list of the year’s outstanding science books. His second book, Learning to Heal (1985), on the creation of America’s system of medical education, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize. He released Time to Heal in 1999.

Among other honors, Ludmerer is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, president of the American Association for the History of Medicine and a member of the National Council of Harvard Medical School. In 2003, he received the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Dr. Charles W. Bodemer was founder and chair of the Department of Biomedical History from 1967 until his sudden death in 1985. Trained in anatomy, he had a distinguished career as a research scientist before dedicating his energies to his other love, the history of medicine. A prolific writer and dynamic teacher, he used his understanding of medicine’s evolution to teach students and faculty alike a deeper appreciation of the human and social dimensions of medical practice. The Bodemer Lecture honors his groundbreaking labors in the development of medical history and ethics at the UW School of Medicine.

For further information, contact Marilyn J. Barnard, manager of the department’s Continuing Education Program, at 206-616-1864.