In the fouth lecture of the RCP500 historical lecture series, Dr Michael Brown explores how the events of the nineteenth century impacted the Royal College of Physicians
6pm - Arrival refreshments (tea and coffee)
6.30pm - Lecture starts
7.30pm - Lecture finishes
In many ways, the nineteenth century is the century in which the English medical profession can be said to have been ‘made’. From individualised practitioners catering to the corporeal needs of the rich, doctors came increasingly to think of themselves as public servants dedicated to the preservation of the health of the nation as a whole. This transformation was not a smooth one, however. Rather it was borne from intense and bitter conflict between established physicians and a newer bread of ‘general practitioners’ and it brought into question the authority, and very identity, of the Royal College of Physicians. Neither was it a process that took place in isolation; the medical profession, and its attendant values, were shaped by a variety of social forces including Britain’s new found status as a military and imperial power. This lecture will explore these varied dimensions to paint a rich picture of how the medical man of the century came to be who he was.
Michael Brown is Reader in History in the Department of Humanities at the University of Roehampton. He is a specialist in the social and cultural history of medicine and surgery in Britain from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries, with a particular interest in the politics of medicine and well as the relations between medicine, gender, war and the emotions. He is currently a Wellcome Trust Investigator in Medical Humanities and Social Sciences leading a team exploring the place of emotion within the practice of surgery from the early nineteenth century to the present day. He has published a number of articles in major academic journals as well the book Performing Medicine: Medical Culture and Identity in Provincial England, c. 1760-1850 (Manchester University Press, 2011).