Istanbul History of Medicine Field Study: a Contribution of Medical History to the Ethics Education

Artvinli F., Işil Ülman F. Y., Topsever F. P., Bakirci N.

Second International Conference on Education in Ethics, Ankara, Turkey, 21 - 23 May 2014, pp.77

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Ankara
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.77
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: Yes


Second International Conference on Education in Ethics

Ankara University Faculty of Medicine, Morphology Campus

Ankara, Turkey, 21 - 23 May, 2014


Istanbul History of Medicine Field Study:

A Contribution of Medical History to the Ethics Education


Fatih Artvinli [1], Yeşim Işıl Ülman[2], Pınar Topsever[3],Nadi Bakırcı[4]


Introduction: Acibadem University School of Medicine, the Clinical Medicine and Professional Skills (CMPS) Subject Committee implements the outcome-based learning and student-centered approach of modern medical education. This teaching methodology aims at learning by practice, understanding through case studies in interactive learning sessions and researching in real life at social and clinical setting. Within CMPS, “Medical Ethics and Humanities” Program aims to develop the students’ knowledge, perception and attitude by a similar dynamic teaching methodology on the themes of universal values of human rights, human dignity, professional values, ethical principles, enhanced by heritage of medical history. The history of medicine courses are structured to investigate the essential landmarks of the evolution of medicine throughout the ages.


Aims: Therefore  educators inserted the Istanbul History of Medicine Field Study into the syllabus.  It is aimed to get a deeper insight into the rich medical tradition and good medical practice examples  throughout history by site visits to the historic hospitals, pharmacies and health units in Istanbul


Materials and methods: To that aim, Acibadem University School of Medicine Year I Students (2012-2013 and 2013-2014) have accomplished field study for two years. They visited the health institutions chosen by themselves out of a list of historic hospitals, pharmacies prepared by the educators.  They gathered information by talking and discussing with the staff at the site-visits, by taking pictures, by browsing referential and virtual sources, all to write a report, based on their own experiences. Furthermore, these reports have provided the background for the “Istanbul History of Medicine Exhibition” inaugurated on March 14th, Physicians’ Day in 2013 and 2014.


Results: Assessment of the Field Study was carried out through a Likert scale form structured to obtain students’ feedbacks and views on the site visits. The students think it is an interesting, effective, informative, beneficial, stimulating experience. They proposed repeating these visits every year. They reported that they could feel history at those venues. They commented that these visits and field study helped to develop their interest in the history of medicine and contributed their personal development by gaining insight into the history of medical profession. They think the classroom courses were consolidated by the site visit experiences.


Discussion and Conclusion:  These health institutions which are still functioning at their original purpose are the distinguished venues embodying cultural legacy and medical history in our country. We hope that this Field Study and the follow up Exhibition may present a pioneering example to have a deeper reflection on the universality of medicine and contributions of its anonymous figures to set model for future generations through historical imagination and revival of history at its original medical setting.  We propose this field study as an original way of teaching medical history for gaining insight into medical profession in line with the humanities in medicine syllabus that provides an ideal milieu for teaching medical history and for contributing to ethics education at large.


Key Words: History of medicine, medical humanities, field study, medical heritage of Istanbul, historical imagination, revival of medical history

[1] Assist. Prof. Dr. Fatih Artvinli, Acibadem Univ. School of Medicine, Medical History and Ethics Department,

[2] Prof. Dr. Yeşim Işıl Ülman, Acibadem Univ. School of Medicine, Medical History and Ethics Dept.,

[3] Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pınar Topsever, Acibadem Univ. School of Medicine Family Medicine Dept.

[4] Prof. Dr. Nadi Bakirci, Acibadem Univ. School of Medicine, Public Health Department,