83145 - History of Medicine

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Patrizia Fughelli

  • Credits 1

  • SSD MED/02

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Medicine and Surgery (cod. 9210)

  • Course Timetable from Dec 19, 2022 to Jan 20, 2023

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

Outline the history of the medical sciences from classic times till today, focusing on the birth of morpho-functional disciplines, the concept of disease throughout the ages, and the progress of surgical and therapeutic sciences.

Course contents

Lesson 1 – Introduction and course overview. ANTIQUITY AND MIDDLE AGES. Sources: from paleopathology and paleogenetics  to medical historiography. Hippocrates (Hippocratic Oath, Hippocratic Collection, Hippocratic Humoralism). Hellenistic Medicine. Medicine in the Roman World (Medical Sects). Galen. Medieval Medicine (University of Bologna, Archiginnasio, Società Medica Chirurgica). Guglielmo da Saliceto. Leprosy. Mondino de’ Liuzzi (Anothomia). Black Death. Appendix 1: Anatomy

Lesson 2FROM THE RENAISSANCE TO THE 19TH CENTURY. Renaissance. Barber-surgeon. Patient care and places. Syphilis cases, Columbus, treatments). William Harvey. Marcello Malpighi. Enlightenment. Medical field: Antonio Maria Valsalva; Giovanni Battista Morgagni. Smallpox. Edward Jenner. 19th century (stethoscope, x-rays, diagnosis). Cholera. Louis Pasteur. Rudolf Virchow. Joseph Lister. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. Appendix 2: Imaging

Lesson 320TH CENTURY AND BEYOND. Influenza (1918). The Golden Age of Surgery in Bologna. Anesthesia. First Heart Transplant. HIV and AIDS. Ebola. Coronavirus. Appendix 3: Orthopedic Surgery

Lesson 4HEALTH AND DISEASE. Illness, sickness and disease. Concept of pain. EBM and NBM. Medical Humanities. Appendix 4: Artificial intelligence in Medicine. Student survey. Q & A examples.


The slides shown during the lessons are available at the Web site: https://virtuale.unibo.it/

Username e password are reserved to students of Bologna University.

Pdfs with the powerpoint presentations of the lectures will be the material to be reviewed for the written exam at the end of the course.

Suggested readings to explore further the topics covered in class:

1) A Global History of Medicine Edited by Mark Jackson. Oxford University Press, 2018

2) A Short History of Medicine / Donatella Lippi
Bologna : Clueb, 2015

3) Cranial Trepanation: An Ancient Neurosurgical Therapy? Thoughts of a Follower of Positivist Medicine and Anthropology.

Iorio S, Licata M, Ciliberti R, Gazzaniga V.

J Craniofac Surg. 2019 Sep;30(6):e570-e573.

PMID: 30998593

4) [New considerations about the so-called Hippocratic oath].

Lippi D.

Med Secoli. 1993;5(3):329-43.

PMID: 11640157 Italian.

5) Early use of the microscope.

Lippi D.

Lancet. 2017 May 6;389(10081):1793-1794.

PMID: 28495161

6) Health care in the Renaissance.

Lippi D.

Med Secoli. 1992;4(2):11-20.

PMID: 11640127

7) Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694).

Fughelli P, Stella A, Sterpetti AV.

Circ Res. 2019 May 10;124(10):1430-1432.

PMID: 31071004

8) Antonio Maria Valsalva (1666-1723).

Fughelli P, Stella A, Sterpetti AV.

Circ Res. 2019 Jun 7;124(12):1704-1706.

PMID: 31170038

9) Cholera.

Lippi D, Gotuzzo E, Caini S.

Microbiol Spectr. 2016 Aug;4(4).

PMID: 27726771

10) The Spanish Influenza Pandemic: a lesson from history 100 years after 1918.

Martini M, Gazzaniga V, Bragazzi NL, Barberis I.

J Prev Med Hyg. 2019 Mar 29;60(1):E64-E67.

PMID: 31041413

11) Role of doctors in epidemics: historical perspectives and implications for COVID-19.

Lippi D, Bianucci R, Donell S.

Intern Emerg Med. 2020 Aug;15(5):883-884.

PMID: 32390080

12) Reading different literature helps one to learn to listen.

Lippi D.

Intern Emerg Med. 2014 Aug;9(5):493-5.

PMID: 24879128

13) Pain and its management: Dante's Divine Comedy.

Bianucci R, Lanini I, Donell S, Lippi D.

Postgrad Med J. 2021 Jun 30:postgradmedj-2021-140058. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2021-140058. Online ahead of print.

PMID: 34193537

14) Empathizing. A sharing of life.

Fughelli P, Zompatori M.

MEDICINA HISTORICA. 2019(3):48-51.


Teaching methods

Lectures with slides

Peer-reviewed scientific videos

Class discussion

Assessment methods

Written test (for examination dates, see almaesami.unibo.it)

The test consists of 32 4-choice questions. Only one answer is correct. There are no penalties for wrong or blank answers.

The test must be completed in 45 minutes.

Module CFU Questions

History of Medicine 1 4

Ethics and Behavioural Sciences 2 8

Medical Statistics and Epidemiology 2 8

Scientific Research Methodology 1 4

Determinant of Health and Disease 2 8

Number of right answers


31/32 30L

30 30

29 29

28 28

27 27

26 26

25 25

24 24

23 23

22 22

21 21

20 20

19 19

18 18

<18 Fail

≥18 and 0 right answers in any module: Fail

The test must be completed in 45 minutes.

Grade acceptance/refusal

Grades are published within 3 days on AlmaEsami.

The student can refuse the grade within 5 days from publication by sending an e-mail to Prof. Rucci (paola.rucci2@unibo.it) and the Program coordinator (medicine.surgery@unibo.it).

All refusals must be sent from the institutional e-mail address @studio.unibo.it

After 6 days from publication, the acceptance will be taken for granted and the exam will be recorded.

Teaching tools

Power point presentations

Scientific videos

Office hours

See the website of Patrizia Fughelli