The New York Academy of Medicine’s Section on the History of Medicine and Public Health is pleased to announce the next talk in its 2009-2010 public lecture series.

The Iago Galdston Lecture: “Bleed or Not Bleed Mrs. Camac? A 19th Century Medical Decision”

Steven J. Peitzman, M.D., Drexel University College of Medicine

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

6:00 PM, with a public reception starting at 5:30 PM

In 1862, a busy Philadelphia physician named Owen J. Wister stayed overnight at the home of the Camacs. Mrs. Camac was pregnant and dangerously ill, giving rise to the conundrum expressed in this lecture’s title. For several years Dr. Peitzman has been working with a fascinating set of letters between Wister and his wife, who often was off traveling for her own health. As this talk will make clear, the Wisters’ letters from the 1850s-1880s contain vivid descriptions of Owen’s daily practice, or at least some of the more dramatic events, as well as reflections on the emotional responses he felt. Wister’s experiences treating Mrs. Camac demonstrates that there is much useful medical history to be gleaned even from this one clinical vignette of a home in the Germantown section of Philadelphia during a hot August night.

Steven J. Peitzman, M.D., is professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. He has practiced in the specialty of nephrology for over 30 years and has taught and lectured widely. He is the author of _Dropsy, Dialysis, Transplant: A Short History of Failing Kidneys_, one of the books in the Johns Hopkins University Press Biographies of Disease series.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Jacalyn Duffin, M.D., Ph.D., Queens University, Ontario

The John K. Lattimer Lecture, “Medical Miracles: Doctors, Saints, and Healing in the Modern World”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

William B. Ashworth, Jr., University of Missouri – Kansas City and the Linda Hall Library

The Annual Friends of the Rare Book Room Lecture, “Nature Revealed: The Evolution of a Scientific Emblem”

For full descriptions, or to register to attend these talks, visit:

For more information about the Historical Collections at the New York Academy of Medicine, please visit our website, .

For more information about the public lectures series sponsored by Section on the History of Medicine and Public Health, please call Arlene Shaner in the Rare Book Room at 212-822-7313 or send email to [email protected].