Stephen Craig, MD (Assistant Professor of Medical History, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)
NLM History of Medicine lecture,
Wednesday, January 15, from 2pm to 3pm
Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD.
Military medicine as an academic discipline consists of preventive modalities to maintain the health of an army and clinical therapeutics, both medical and surgical, to restore sick and injured service members to full duty. Although the practice of military medicine has been made more efficient and effective by technological and scientific advancements, the theoretical foundation of that practice has not changed since John Pringle, MD established it in his Observations on the Diseases of the Army in Camp and Garrison published in April 1752. Pringle's book went through multiple English editions as well as German, French, and Italian translations, and became the bedrock text in its field. This lecture will explore the origins of modern military medical pedagogy and praxis, first, by a recapitulation of Pringle's social and educational environments in Scotland from 1707-1742, and then through a critical review of selected passages from the preface in the 1753 edition of Observations on the Diseases of the Army. The influence of early Scottish Enlightenment thought on Pringle's intellectual, ethical, and medical character becomes apparent as he describes his radical and unprecedented concepts. Indeed, that influence, in conjunction with his wartime experiences, was thedriving force which shaped the foundations of a new medical discipline.
NLM holds over 40 editions by Pringle, and Craig will discuss these holdings in his talk.
All are welcome.
Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Stephen Greenberg at 301-435-4995, e-mail
Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised
to consult the NLM Visitors and Security website:
NLM's History of Medicine Division
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief
Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
Coordinator of Public Services
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine, NIH