Is the history of medicine worth your while?
Rebecca Lester makes a case for her one year intercalated degree in the subject
- By: Rebecca Lester
If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development.
Aristotle 384-322 BC
Having completed my medical studies via an intercalated bachelor of science degree in the history of medicine, I am often asked to justify and explain my interest in the subject. “How is that going to help with your career?” and, “Sounds easy, did you just doss around all year?”
I don't necessarily think everyone should do a medical history degree, but I urge you to read about things other than medicine. Before doing this degree, my narrowly focused mind was invited to join a pub quiz team only on the off-chance that there would be a question such as, “What is the medical term for a nosebleed?” I felt ignorant compared with my arts student counterparts.
The history of medicine isn't just history. Every fact we learnt was put in context, and I broadened my knowledge