Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuning into History as PreMed?

I'm back from the American Historical Association (AHA) Meeting in New York City where Dr. Marinari and I participated in a series of Tuning Workshops.  The Tuning Project focuses defining the core characteristic of history and what a person taking a history class, or majoring in history, should know and should be able to do.  In other words, what is the value of history?  There will be much more on that to come (including many opportunities to pun).  We covered a lot of ground in three days and six or seven meetings and workshops.

One participant made the point that history is a good premed program.  Sounds unorthodox?  To a certain extent it is, but there are studies suggesting that it has its virtues.  Think about that visit to a doctor's office.  What does the doctor do?  You outline a problem (my xxx hurts).  The doctors asks questions such as when did it start hurting, has the pain changed, did something change it, etc.  He or she then consults the paper or digital record to flesh out the narrative that explains the problem.   In other words, he or she determines your medical history.  Sure, you won't be treated with history (I hope), but historical thinking is a critical part of the process.  What does professor Google tell us about history and premed?  Here are two stories.

Liberal Arts v. Premed Degrees for Med School Applications

So your doctor majored in history?

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