Focusing on the key turning points in the history of western medicine e.g. the advent of hospitals, the role of public health, the rise of biomedical research, this course offers insights into medicine’s past, asks what has shaped contemporary medicine and how do people study it. By exploring five kinds of medicine – Bedside, Library, Hospital, Community and Laboratory – this course charts the shape and content of the history of western medicine from the Greeks to the present day. It looks at the role of doctors, patients, diseases and society’s reaction to them over time and asks how medicine, disease and health have been motors for change. The course encourages its participants to understand how contemporary medicine differs from but is indelibly marked by its past. By directed use of primary and secondary sources it introduces participants to the methods and tools of research in the history of medicine and encourages the critical analysis of differing historical interpretations, including the participant’s own.