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"Trying to plan for the future without a sense of the past is like trying to plant cut flowers.”
– Daniel Boorstein


The Houston History of Medicine Society began in 1986 as the Baylor History of Medicine Society, which expanded in 2008 to become the Houston History of Medicine Society.

William Oslar in front of fireplace

William Osler at 13 Norham Gardens, Oxford

Monthly meetings are held during the academic year (September to May) at which invited speakers present a one-hour lecture on some aspect of medical history.

All interested individuals in the Texas Medical Center and throughout Houston are invited to attend. All lectures are held at 12 noon in the Onstead Auditorium of M.D. Anderson Hospital (see directions) and lunch is provided.

Student Participation

Each year students from Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas participate in an elective History of Medicine course. Baylor's elective is under the direction of Roger J. Zoorob, M.D., M.P.H., and The University of Texas Houston School of Medicine course is run by Thomas Cole, Ph.D. In addition to attending the monthly lectures students may write an essay pertaining to some aspect of the History of Medicine. The two best papers (one from each school) are presented at the January meeting. Many of the papers are submitted to national contests such as the William B. Bean essay contest of the American Osler Society.

Monthly Speakers

The monthly speakers are usually faculty members of Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, or the University of Houston. Each year an outstanding national speaker is invited to give the John P. McGovern lecture at an annual banquet supported by a generous grant from the John P. McGovern Foundation. Dr. McGovern had a long time interest in medical history and was one of the founders of the American Osler Society.