Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article surveys the historiographical trends in medical history that have fostered the rise in the use of oral history. It discusses different approaches that serve to bring individual experiences and human agents into the historical frame, humanizing our understanding of the national and international institutions, professions, governments, and organizations that shape medical history. Oral history reveals the clinicians behind changing medical treatments and the personal experiences behind patient populations or epidemiological trends. This article argues, however, that oral history needs to do more; rather, it should aim to chart and explore the relationship between the structures of medicine and human experience. Furthermore, it discusses that oral testimony does not document the past, but is an individual's interpretation of it; historians therefore need to interrogate it as such, exploring why people remember in certain ways, what is forgotten or misremembered, and what such memories mean for the present.

Keywords: historiographical trends, medical history, oral history, oral testimony, clinicians

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.