Ludmerer receives history of medicine book award

The American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM) has named Kenneth M. Ludmerer, M.D., professor of medicine and of history in Arts & Sciences, the recipient of the 2004 William Welch Medal.

Kenneth Ludmerer
Kenneth Ludmerer

He is being recognized for his book Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care.

The award, which recognizes the author of the outstanding book in the history of medicine published during the preceding five years, was announced May 1 at the AAHM’s annual meeting in Madison, Wis.

Time To Heal provides a history of American medical education from the beginning of the 20th century through the present era of managed care. The book, published in 1999, also describes the effects of trends in the medical marketplace on teaching, research and patient care and suggests alternatives that would better serve the public interest. It was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Ludmerer has written two previous books. His first, a study of eugenics, was published in 1972, while he was completing a junior rotation in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University. His second, Learning to Heal: The Development of American Medication Education, was published in 1985. This book chronicles the creation of America’s system of medical education and also was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Ludmerer was born in Long Beach, Calif., and earned a bachelor’s degree in history and science in 1968 from Harvard University. He then went to Johns Hopkins, where he earned a master’s degree in the history of medicine in 1971 and a medical degree in 1973.

He joined Washington University in 1979 as assistant professor of medicine and of history. He was named associate professor of medicine and of history in 1986, and he was promoted to professor of medicine and of history in 1992.

Among many honors, Ludmerer received the Nicholas E. Davies Memorial Award from the American College of Physicians in 1997, the Distinguished Alumnus Award of John Hopkins University in 2000, the Daniel Tosteson Award for Leadership in Medical Education from Harvard Medical School in 2001 and the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education from the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2003.

Ludmerer is president of the AAHM and past president of the American Osler Society. He has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American College of Physicians. He has also been elected to the national honorary medical society Alpha Omega Alpha, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association of American Physicians and the American Clinical and Climatological Association.

In addition, he has served on the editorial boards of nine professional journals and delivered named lectures at more than 150 educational institutions or professional societies.

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