Chicago Society for the History of Medicine and the Humanities


leonardo_davinciThe Chicago Society for the History of Medicine and the Humanities is a constituent member of the Society of the American Association for the History of Medicine and was founded in 1909 to foster an interest in the history of medicine. In 2005 it became part of the Hektoen Institute and was renamed to emphasize a broadening of interest to other aspects of the humanities. At its inception the Society had some 200 members and included many illustrious personalities and pioneers of American medicine.

The Society remains active, sponsoring meetings and lectures on a variety of interesting subjects, some related to the history of medicine in Chicago and others exploring the interface between medicine and the humanities. Each lecture is preceded by a reception, allowing the members to exchange ideas and engage in lively discussion. The final meeting of each year is dedicated to the memory of Doctor Morris Fishbein, the Society’s past president and an influential physician and editor of modern American Medicine. The Fishbein lectures have been made possible by the generous support of the family of the late Barbara Fishbein Friedell.

For more information or to RSVP: Contact Rachel Baker at or 312-768-6030

Upcoming Programs

Hope, Health, and Healing on the Tiber:

The Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Aesculapius and the
Basilica of St. Bartholomew

701Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Time: 5PM, refreshments – 5:30PM to 6:30 PM, presentation

Location: Hektoen Institute of Medicine – 2240 W. Ogden, 2nd Floor – Chicago, IL 60612

Information and Directions:
Please park on the west side of the building. Off-street parking is also available.

Cost: $20 suggested donation,
complimentary admission for students

Speakers: Mary Ann McDermott RN, EdD, FAAN Professor Emerita Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University Chicago; Nurse Educator Part time, Edward V. Hines
Veterans Administration Hospital, Hines, IL and Kathleen Taylor, RN, BSN, MS, Nurse Informaticist, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago, IL

Co-presented with Hektoen Nurses & Humanities Group

Description: What images come to mind when you hear the word
“Rome”…the Colosseum, The Forum, St. Peter’s? In this presentation, we will
examine less well-known landmarks of historical and artistic significance: a
hospital, a church and a well! These landmarks reside on the Tiber Island (Isola
Tiberina) of Rome. During the Roman Empire, a temple was built on the island and
dedicated to Aesculapius, the Greek God of medicine and healing. People came to
the island to ask for healing from their illnesses. During plagues, the sick
were isolated and often cured. In the tenth century, Roman Emperor Otto III,
built the Basilica of St. Bartholomew over the Temple of Aesculapius. Inside of
this church stands a stone well dating back to the 10th century, the water from
which is considered miraculous. Today a hospital operated by the Hospitaller
Order of St. John of God (Fatebenefratelli) founded in 1584 dominates the
island. A church built into the hospital as well as a chapel house beautiful
works of healing art. During WWII the hospital served as a refuge for many from
the neighboring Jewish ghetto. In this presentation, we will highlight the
artistic, archeological and historical significance of the island as well as
its’ present importance as a place of health, hope and healing.

President : James L. Franklin, MD, Professor Emeritus, Rush University Medical Center


Upcoming Lectures

Past Lectures