An inspirational researcher, teacher, and advocate
Modern medicine emphasizes mastery of scientific and technical information, but Dr. Duffin argues that the humanities, notably history, form part of balanced, effective teaching. Her classic textbook, History of Medicine: A Scandalously Short Introduction, presents encapsulated histories of medical specialties, featuring the cultural and social factors involved in their development. Concise and accessible, it introduces complex ideas about the social definition of illness and the moral ambiguity of discoveries and treatments. Dr. Duffin has observed that “diseases are ideas,” an insight fundamental to all her work. As a bridge between the science and the humanities, her work helps others to see how changing perspectives affect society’s reaction to disease and those suffering from it.